By David “Dirk” Smith, M.Sc., SDL (He/Him)
In a flurry of announcements and press releases Gay Games Hong Kong, the selected hosts for the 2022 Gay Games that was delayed until 2023 has officially partnered with the Gay Games Guadalajara Bid Committee to host a joint event in 2023. Guadalajara has bid for the Gay Games on several occasions, including for the 2018, 2022 and 2026 Games but was previously unsuccessful.
The announcement for the joint hosting bid comes among increasing concerns over the development of the Covid-19 pandemic that has led to uncertainties in international travel. In addition, questions regarding athlete and participant safety among human rights violations committed by the Chinese government have led to hesitancy among athletes to travel to Hong Kong. While details are scant regarding the Guadalajara event, organizers state that the Hong Kong dates of November 3rd-11th, 2023 are still on track.
Lisa Lam, co-chair of GGHK, said, “In these unprecedented times, we have to be agile and adaptable to a constantly changing environment. Faced with continued challenges brought on by the Covid pandemic, with the desire to ensure more participants can join the Games regardless of their locations, GGHK recently proposed the concept of a co-hosted event to the FGG.
“By having Gay Games 11 accessible to participants across two locations we can ensure we meet our aim of being as inclusive as possible while international travel continues to recover. We will still be holding the first Gay Games in Asia, but potentially for the first time in Latin America as well, welcoming the widest possible audience to both cities. There is a huge amount of planning to do, and we will be providing more detailed updates as soon as we are in a position to share more information.”
In addition, founder and co-president of the Gay Games Hong Kong committee has officially stepped down from his role. Philipse, who is from the Netherlands has spent the last seven years working on the bid, including the last two years full time after quitting his job in technology management to focus his efforts on bringing the Gay Games to Asia for the first time. He stated that his decision was brought on my uncertainties from the pandemic.
“This has been a long journey,” Philipse said. “We just need to be adaptable to the situation in Hong Kong and that is very painful, but at some point, we need to face reality.”
Philipse believes that the decision to co-host the games with Guadalajara is the best solution to ensure that the games will take place and that people will be encouraged to attend. With the Gay Games still over a year away, a lot can certainly happen and we will follow the development of the event in hopes of it happening successfully.
Photo Credit: Gay Games Hong Kong