• A rally participant dressed as nun takes part in a gay and lesbian rally through the streets in Hong Kong. (Photo: Cheung Ka Chun/AFP/Getty Images) (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Guadalajara and Washington DC have also been shortlisted for the 2022 Games.
Michaela Morgan

3 Mar 2017 - 7:20 PM  UPDATED 3 Mar 2017 - 7:20 PM

Hong Kong is one step closer to hosting the 2022 Gay Games, the world’s only sporting event specifically for LGBT+ athletes.

It would be the first time an Asian city has hosted the event, which was first held in San Francisco in 1982 and featured Tina Turner performing at the opening ceremony. 

Hosting the Gay Games could inject nearly $170 million AUD into Hong Kong’s economy but local activists hope the possible win would also improve LGBT+ rights.

“We believe that Hong Kong is this perfect city to represent Asia,” said Dennis Philipse, co-chair of the bidding team.

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“Asia is the world’s largest continent and home to an estimated 221 million LGBT+ people, but is also a region where there is an ongoing struggle to overcome homophobia and gain acceptance.”

A recent study has found that 39 per cent of LGB people in Hong Kong had considered emigrating because of a lack of anti-discrimination laws. 

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“If these LGB people do indeed emigrate from Hong Kong, there will be negative consequences for the city,” writes Dr Suen.

Guadalajara and Washington DC have also made the shortlist, edging out Los Angeles, Austin, Dallas and San Francisco.

The three competitors will now prepare to head to Paris—the 2018 games host—to make their final pitches for holding the 2022 games.