Cruising Utopia

“Who do I have to fuck to get a visa?” a London-based friend once texted me, with equal parts exasperation and envy, in response to my Instagram stories of Taipei’s pandemic-era nightlife. Until a few weeks ago, it seemed that the island of 24 million would make it through the worst ravages of COVID-19 largely unscathed, with only around a dozen deaths and domestic transmissions largely squashed.

“想要拿到签证,我得和谁上床?”一位来自伦敦的朋友这样回复我的 Instagram,语气中带有几分懊恼和羡慕。那篇帖子的内容发布在疫情期间的台北,记录了我在当地的夜生活片段。在几周前,2400 万人口的台湾似乎还尽然有序,新冠肺炎的死亡人数维持在十几,本土疫情的传播源也已基本阻断。

Now, as new variants slip through the cracks and the local and central governments scramble to rework their pandemic strategies as cases and deaths rise, it’s painfully clear just how good we had it. In particular, for Taiwan’s vibrant LGBTQ+ communities, this past year looks, in retrospect, almost utopian–a shimmering but fundamentally fragile celebration of queer life and pleasure at a time when most of the world has been stuck in mourning. Deep down, maybe we knew that it couldn’t last forever.

但现在,随着病毒变异株的侵入,感染者和死亡人数攀升,这令地方和中央政府再度陷入紧张局面。或许在灾难面前,人们才体会到此前生活的幸福,对于活跃在台湾的 LGBTQ+ 群体来说更是如此。他们过去一年的生活堪称乌托邦——当哀嚎声在世界大多数地区此起彼伏,他们却沉迷在一片醉生梦死的梦幻境地。但同时,这番热闹却又显得脆弱,因为片刻的霓虹色难以持续至永恒。

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