• Team Russian Federation march during the opening ceremony of the Gay Games 2014 in Cleveland, Ohio. (Getty Images)Source: Getty Images
Could Hong Kong be Asia's first Gay Games host?
Drew Sheldrick

28 Apr 2016 - 4:19 PM  UPDATED 28 Apr 2016 - 4:57 PM

The Federation of Gay Games (FGG) last week announced the international cities in contention to host the 11th Gay Games, and there's a renewed push for the winner to be in Asia. 

Cities in three continents expressed an interest in bidding for the 2022 Gay Games, including first potential bids from the Middle East and Asia. The 17 cities include 12 from the US, as well as Cape Town, Guadalajara in Western Mexico, Hong Kong, and Tel Aviv.

Sydney held the sixth Gay Games in 2002, just two years after hosting the Olympic Games. No Australian cities are in the running for the 2022 event.

“The FGG has never received so many expressions of interest, and these requests for information go well beyond a simple expression of intent," Gay Games officer of site selection David Killian said in a statement following the announcement last week.

Queer sports organisation Out in HK is leading Hong Kong's bid for the event. Its founder told the South China Morning Post that it could have a huge impact there.

”Hosting the games in Hong Kong will make change because the guy in Starbucks or the taxi driver will have a completely different awareness of the LGBT people,” Dennis Philipse said.

"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.”

Gay Games international development officer Leviathen Hendricks told the Post that the Gay Games needs to come to Asia to draw attention to the rights of sexual and gender minorities. "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," he says.

Only three cities will make it to the site selection meeting in late 2017 in Paris where the FGG board and its member organisations will choose one of them as the presumptive host of the 2022 Gay Games.

The FGG will have its first in-person contact with bidders at an annual general assembly in Sydney this October.

The 10th Gay Games will take place in Paris in August 2018.

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