Hong Kong becomes the first ever Asian city to bid for the Gay Games.
Also known as the ‘gay Olympics,’ the Gay Games first started in San Fransisco in 1982, and has since evolved to become the biggest international sports and cultural gathering for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender athletes, artists and musicians from all over the world.
Bidding for the 2022 games, Hong Kong is listed among 16 other cities like Los Angeles, Washington DC, Tel Aviv and Cape Town; it is the first and only Asian city to send in a tender for the competition.
The last games was hosted two years ago in Cleveland, Ohio, with around 10,000 athletes and performers from 60 countries, competing in 37 sports. Paris will be the host for the 2018 Gay Games.
Speaking to the Sunday Morning Post, Leviathen Hendricks, board member and international development officer of the Federation of Gay Games, explains how the bid may be awarded:
‘There is certainly an argument, often conjecture about why a particular city has won the bid to host in the past.
‘And some cities have made that argument before, “the Gay Games needs to come here because we need to improve LGBT rights in that area.”
‘So that could be an element of someone’s decision to vote for a particular host, to make a real human rights change in that area.’
It was added that the federation may choose the Asian city in order to ‘shine a light on its poor same-sex rights record.’
Out in HK, the LGBTI sports organisation responsible for the bid, explains to Gay Star News that the Gay Games could bring about great impact for LGBTI community in Hong Kong.
Dennis Philipse, founder of the organisation, describes the Gay Games as a beacon that will help to promote an agenda of ‘equality and tolerance’ in the city, where legal rights and protection for LGBTI citizens are severely lacking.
‘In its 40th anniversary, it is time to take the Gay Games back to its founding aims by planting a flag in fresh fields, where the promotion of its principles can have the greatest effect.’
The 2022 host of the Gay Games will be announced in October 2017.