By Dirk Smith, MSc, SDL (He/Him)
Following the conclusion of the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) Annual General Assembly in January, the FGG announced that the cities of Guadalajara, Mexico, Munich Germany and Valencia, Spain. Over the next year, the FGG board will visit the three cities to tour the proposed facilities and venues in the cities while the host organization presents their final plans for the event. The final decision will come at next year’s Annual General Assembly following final presentations by each of the candidates and a vote from the members of the board.
The final decision always comes the year before the next edition of the Gay Games is held. The next Gay Games is planned for 2022 in Hong Kong which will be the first ever Gay Games hosted in continental Asia. Once the final city is announced, the first event for the winner is to prepare their presentation for the upcoming Gay Games where they will have the audience of the entire event at the festival village as well as the closing ceremony which also includes the traditional handover of the Gay Games flag.
This year’s top three cities are notable for being the first time that the top three final candidates do not include a city from the United States. The last Gay Games hosted in the US was in Cleveland in 2014. With the 2018 games in Paris, the 2022 games in Hong Kong and the 2026 games held in either Munich, Valencia or Guadalajara means that the United States won’t host another Gay Games until 2030 at the earliest.
Historically, the Gay Games have primarily been held in Europe or North America with the only Gay Games so far held outside North America or Europe in 2002 in Sydney, Australia. The upcoming 2022 Gay Games in Hong Kong, held 20 years after Sydney, will be the second Gay Games held outside of North America or Europe. The 2026 Gay Games will return to either Europe or North America, notable that Guadalajara will be the first city in Mexico and in Central America to host the event and Valencia will be the first city in Spain to host the event. Germany has previously hosted the 2010 Gay Games in Cologne, Germany.