By Dirk Smith, M.Sc, SDL (He/Him)

Hosting their Annual General Assembly in Guadalajara, Mexico this year, the Federation of Gay Games celebrates one year to Gay Games XI which is to be co-hosted by both Guadalajara and Hong Kong.

Originally planned to be held in 2022 in Hong Kong, Gay Games XI was postponed to 2023 due to uncertainties surrounding the Covid-19. Further, the runner up to the Gay Games XI bidding process, Guadalajara, was invited to co-host the event as uncertainties surrounding the safety and wellbeing of LGBTQ+ people in Hong Kong began to arise. Leading to Gay Games Hong Kong president, Dennis Philipse to step down last February.

Thus, this one-year celebration to Gay Games XI kicking off in November 2023 is particularly special as co-hosts Guadalajara and Hong Kong are making final preparations to invite LGBTQ+ athletes from all over the world to come together for the world’s largest LGBTQ+ multi-sport event.

The Annual General Assembly invites the FGG member organizations to come together with the FGG board to discuss and workshop changes to the Gay Games model and help shape the Gay Games to adapt to the current issues affecting LGBTQ+ athletes and sports. Member organizations represent everybody from sports teams to national and international organizations who send participants to Gay Games and/or organize sporting events as part of Gay Games. At each Annual General Assembly, members are invited to join working committees that cover everything from marketing, event logistics, sport development as well as the bidding process for future Gay Games. This year’s AGM focused on the final preparations for Guadalajara and Hong Kong, including presentations from both host committees, registration drives, ceremonies and an awards banquet to honor volunteers who have help contributed to the FGG mission.

The AGA concluded with an official countdown celebration to mark 365 days until the opening ceremonies. Both Guadalajara and Hong Kong’s opening ceremonies will kick off on November 3rd, 2023. The celebration invited several celebrities to lead the celebration, including Mexican drag star, Ricky Lips, Miss Trans Star, 2022 Madison Basrey and RuPaul’s Drag Race legend, Valentina.

Attendees came home feeling energized and excited for Gay Games XI, confident the event will move forward after the last few years of uncertainty. Offering reassurances to LGBTQ+ athletes worldwide that it will all come together for an amazing event.

Photo Credit: Federation of Gay Games Board