A City With Poor LGBT Rights Wants To Host The Gay Games. Is That The Right Thing To Do?

Should the Gay Games be held in a city where LGBT Rights are far behind other cities wishing to play?  Or should it be held in a metropolis where the monetary benefits would reward a city for its role in making the world a safer place for LGBT citizens?

With the mentality of the first option, do we look at Russia, Bangladesh, and Muslim nations?  Or do we look at nations where athletes may not have to fear for their lives while going for the gold?

As Hong Kong eyes up hosting the 2022 “gay Olympics”, the international federation behind the global sports event says it could ultimately choose the Asian city in a bid to shine a light on its poor same-sex rights record.

Hong Kong was listed this week as one of 17 other cities in the running to host the Gay Games, including Los Angeles, San Francisco, Washington DC, Tel Aviv and Cape Town – but the territory could be the first and only Asian city to be nominated to host the competition.

The Gay Games was first hosted by San Francisco in 1982 and since then has gone on to become the largest international sport and cultural gathering for athletes, musicians and artists.

The 2014 games was hosted in Cleveland, Ohio, featuring 10,000 athletes from 60 countries and 37 sports. The next hosts in 2018 will be Paris.

Speaking to the Sunday Morning Post, Leviathen Hendricks, a board member and the international development officer for the Federation of Gay Games, said: “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.”

LGBTI sports organisation Out in HK is leading the bid for Hong Kong 2022. Since its founding in 2014, it has organised more than 230 events, and is making the big leap undertaking a bid to organise a major sports event.

”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, founder of Out in HK, told the Post. “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.”

Out in HK promotes the city as a bidding team ready to host with the unrivalled transport infrastructure, wide range of sport facilities, entertainment venues and huge accommodation capacity that will ensure a smooth and efficient experience for participants and visitors.

With government backing and funding from the private sector, the LGBT sports group hopes to hold the opening ceremony at the Hong Kong Stadium.

One study of the economic impact of the Cleveland Games found a boost to the economy to the tune of US$52 million (HK$400 million).

The Federation will select the 2022 host in October 2017. – scmp.com

What are your thoughts? Are there nations we should avoid and are there nations we should honor by giving them the right to host the Gay Games?

h/t:  South China Morning Post.com


6 thoughts on “A City With Poor LGBT Rights Wants To Host The Gay Games. Is That The Right Thing To Do?”

  1. Isolating ourselves in

    Isolating ourselves in "friendly" cities doesn't advance us. Make yourself known, even where you're not welcome. That's how our enemies know we aren't going away.

  2. In the case of many Asian

    In the case of many Asian countries, I would say yes.  The problem with LGBT treatment there is not an outright animus or hostility towards gay men and women, but truly a fear or aversion to the unknown in cultures where assimilation is key to social stability – hence the "it matters less if it's not my child" attitude.

    Given that, the only way to improve the status/treatment of gay men and women is to expose the citizens to more and more events that show how like them we are.

    I would give a completely different answer is the suggested city was one where gay men and women routinely experience violence, arrest or even execution. 

  3. Facts, please. With the first

    Facts, please. With the first gay and lesbian film festival in Asia (1989); the first Asian city to decriminalize homosexuality (in 1991); the first International Chinese Tongzhi Conference (1993), and their first public LGBT Rights Rally in 2005 – it's simply ignorant to make a case against Hong Kong as being unprogressive enough to host more international LGBT events.

  4. I think Hong Kong would be a
    I think Hong Kong would be a good place to hold the games. China has made some progress on gay rights and will continue to do so. This will only help the conversation. China does not execute gay people or imprison them. If that was the case then I would not support the games going there. It would not only help to further gay rights in China but all of eastern Asia.

  5. Okay let’s have the games in

    Okay let's have the games in a place where the participants won't feel safe just to prove that we might influence the Chinese government hahahahaha

  6. I believe you honor those

    I believe you honor those cities that respect who we are. You do not attempt to reward ignorance no matter your intentions.


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