The first ever “Gay Games” in Asia have faced some backlash after it was announced that the event would be co-hosted by Hong Kong.
As reported by Fox News, the event is set to begin on Friday, and will feature nearly 2,400 participants from 45 different countries around the world. Taking place over the course of nine days, the games are intended to boost the economic participation of LGBTQ+ people in the region. The other co-host is the city of Guadalajara in Mexico.
Lisa Lam, co-chair of the Gay Games, has noted that Asia has the lowest rates of acceptance of the LGBTQ+ agenda in the world.
“Biases come from misunderstanding or stereotypes,” said Lam. “Bringing different people together, you are able to break down stereotypes.”
Despite being ruled by the Chinese government, Hong Kong has seen some legal victories by pro-gay groups; among them was a ruling in September by the city’s top court, which gave the government a two-year deadline to set up a legal framework by which it would begin to recognize same-sex unions. Last month, another court ruling granted equal inheritance rights to gay and lesbian couples.
Nevertheless, the games have drawn criticism from several lawmakers in Hong Kong, citing national security threats and the subversion of traditional values such as the historic family structure of one man and one woman.
The games have also faced criticism from the Left, with human rights activists calling for the games to be canceled so that the organizers will not “align themselves with pro-authoritarian figures responsible for widespread persecution.”
The Gay Games were first organized by Dr. Tom Waddell, an Olympic decathlete, in 1982, with the inaugural games being held in San Francisco that year.