The Hong Kong’s Gay Games bid team is feeling hopeful after a positive visit from games organizers.
In June, the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) went to Hong Kong to rate its sporting and cultural facilities.
The island city is hoping to host the 2022 games and if successful would become the first Asian country to do so.
Founded in 1982, the Gay Games is a world-class sporting and cultural LGBTI festival held every 4 years.
Originally 11 countries threw their hats in the ring to host the games. Hong Kong was shortlisted alongside Washington DC and Gudalajara, Mexico to host the 2022 games.
Asia must get the games
Dennis Philipse is one of Hong Kong’s bid co-chairs and shares a powerful story about why Asia must host the next Gay Games.
One of the Hong Kong bid team, Yanick, went to the Cleveland Gay Games in 2014. It was there he met a Japanese man who had won a lot of gold medals
‘The Japanese guy had lots of gold medals around his neck. Yanick told him, ‘you must be proud with all those medals’,’ Philipse told Gay Star News.
‘The Japanese guy answered, ‘well, not really because all my friends and family think I’m on a business trip and I cannot bring my medals home’.
‘And whenever I hear this story I get goosebumps, because this guy should be proud and be able to go home and tell his friends.
‘I think it’s time for a lot of people in Asia to step out of the dark and into the light and that people shouldn’t be afraid to be who they are.’
Philipse said that although Hong Kong lags behind in LGBTI rights, the government has been very supporting of their bid. Especially during the visit from FGG officials where they helped facilitate visits to all 42 proposed sporting venues.
‘They treat us like any sporting event in Hong Kong. In general, we can say we have a supportive government,’ he said.
The visit from FGG officials was a great success, leaving the Hong Kong team hopeful.
‘After three days of seeing some many venues the inspector said he had never seen so many great venues,’ Philipse said.
‘They were very surprised at the amount of facilities, with the amazing infrastructure of Hong Kong, but also the safety of Hong Kong.
‘I think it will be an opportunity to showcase Hong Kong.’
The winning country will be announced in October in Paris.