Hong Kong has won a hard-fought bid to host the Gay Games in 2022, beating out bids from cities all over the world, before triumphing over the other two finalists, Guadalajara and Washington DC.
But iwhat was an awkward acknowledgment of this victory, Hong Kong Chief Executive Carrie Lam told the Foreign Correspondent’s Club that she had “noted” the news, going on to stress her Catholic faith and point out that Hong Kong is still divided on same-sex marriage.
Can’t you feel the sense of celebration?
The Gay Games are a sporting event that aims to raise awareness of LGBT issues. First held in 1982, they were initially known as the “Gay Olympics” before the International Olympic Committee typically took them to task for encroaching on their brand. The two bodies later made up, with the event now known as the Gay Games. Participants do not need to be gay themselves—the event is open to all. An inclusive attitude and sporting prowess are the only two requirements (well, that and the regular caveats barring performance-enhancing drugs or cheating, of course).
Now that Hong Kong has won the bid, organizers will look to the local government for support—likely to be an interesting process, to say the least. Bid organiser Paul Choi said that no financial support had been pledged by the authorities, though they may seek monetary support in the future: “We will continue to explore further support from the government (e.g. the mega event fund) as appropriate.”
It will be fascinating to watch how this plays out amid Hong Kong’s mixed attitudes toward same-sex relationships.
Cover image from Gay Games 9 in Cleveland, Wikicommons