Hong Kong will host the 2022 Gay Games, becoming the first Asian city to stage the sports and cultural event. The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) chose Hong Kong over Guadalajara in Mexico and Washington DC. A record 17 cities had expressed interest in hosting the 2022 Gay Games.
The win comes amid growing momentum for the gay rights movement in Asia, with Taiwan’s constitutional court this year declaring that gay couples have the right to marry.
The games are expected to attract more than 15,000 participants and provide a 103 million USD boost to the economy. Bid supporters called the decision a victory for the status of the city’s gay community. The impact that the Gay Games has in host cities is incredible in terms of culture, sport, economic impact, history and equality.
The Hong Kong bid team was supported by numerous corporations, including Cathay Pacific, Credit Suisse and Linklaters.
The 2018 Gay Games will take place in Paris from August 4 to 12, featuring 36 sports, 14 cultural events, an academic conference, with up to 15,000 participants from 70 countries. The Gay Games was conceived by Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete and was first held in San Francisco in 1982.
Hong Kong has a high degree of autonomy and freedoms not enjoyed on the mainland. But there is no law against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gay marriage is not recognised in Hong Kong. Homosexuality is not illegal in mainland China and many large cities have thriving gay scenes but many gay individuals still face family and social pressure to marry and have children.
Official reaction from government leaders has been very muted. One wonders what China will think!
More info about the Gay Games can be found on the FGG website.
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