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Hong Kong's International Gay Games A Success

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On 11/11/2023 at 6:46 PM, PeterRS said:

They have to a large extent operated under the gaydar. Yet Asia's first-ever Gay Games - known as the Gay Olympics, the week-long annual event marking inclusion and diversity - will end today with a large closing ceremony. 2,400 athletes along with their friends, families and members of Hong Kong's own LGBTQ community will join hands in celebration of a highly successful week to dance to disco music with 'gay' abandon. 

It was all very different in 2017 when Hong Kong was awarded the Games to join the hosts of previous Games like Paris, Amsterdam and Sydney. There was joy among the gay communities throughout Asia, a joy that in part celebrated Hong Kong's continuing freedoms after its return to mainland China. Then came the massive 2019 protests, the all-encompassing new National Security Law imposed by China making "love China" the flavour not only of the month but all future months and, perhaps even worse for the Gay Games, the closure of Hong Kong with eventually the world's most draconian quarantine regulations as Covid took its toll. As this was going on, a crackdown on LGBTQ activities was underway in China itself. Many felt Hong Kong could never host the Games.

Originally planned for 2022, the Games were pushed back a year. But the worry over China's contol of Hong Kong continued. As a contingency, the Games organisers appointed Guadalajara as a co-host. This inevitably resulted in many participants going to Mexico rather than risk going to Kong Kong. Consequently, the numbers taking part in Hong Kong were diminished. But according to reports, all who went had a ball. 

Few lawmakers in Hong Kong seemed to have a ball, though! Speaking at the opening ceremony last Saturday, just one lawmaker Regina Ip priased the event she claimed "overflowed with passion and a great sense of unity and community."


Odd, though, that even though this event brought thousands of participants, the Games were totlly absent from the city's Tourism body's website. Not even one sentence!  

Even Ms. Ip was called a hypocrite. One of her remarks praised the Hong Kong courts for "numerous judgements" handed down in favour of the LGBTQ community. Activists and lawyers quickly pointed out that Ip's government had opposed each of those judgements, losing in almost every single case.

“Why are they still wasting taxpayers’ money fighting these tooth-and-nail litigations when they’re recycling the same arguments and losing?” said Mark Daly, a human rights lawyer who has worked on a number of the cases.

But the week of the Games was a joyous occasion for many and proof that not everything in Hong Kong is yet joined at the hip to the mainland.



Wondered how much the attendance was in concrete numbers and if it can rivaled with Taipei pride.

Among the people I met during Taipei pride only one was planning to go there. Nonetheless, a first for Asia.

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6 hours ago, hojacat said:

Wondered how much the attendance was in concrete numbers and if it can rivaled with Taipei pride.

Attendance was numbered in the thousands - so absolutely in no way a comparison with Taipei Pride. The two events are very different as those attending the Games, I expect, were largely participants. Plus this year the Games were split between Hong Kong and Mexico thereby splitting attendance. 

Hong Kong does have its own Pride march. Again, though, the numbers historically have been tiny compared to Taiwan. In fact, I know of no Asian country whose Pride march numbers come within a small fraction of Taipei's - unless one includes Israel.

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