Next year will be the first time Hong Kong plays host to the Gay Games. For all of the controversy and questions surrounding China’s history with LGBTQ civil rights and human rights in general, Hong Kong (formerly a British Colony handed back to China in 1997) has been mostly accepting and welcoming of gays and lesbians, even after the city was returned to Chinese authorities. Even as late as 2017, when the Federation of Gay Games (FGG), announced that their next event would be held there, businesses and city officials were enthusiastic about the potential tourism the events would attract.

Now, just four years later things are decidedly different

That formerly positive enthusiasm is getting harder to come by these days as the central Chinese government is impacting Hong Kong. What was once a previously progressive and cosmopolitan culture is regressing, as indicated by city law makers.

According to a report carried by the website Hong Kong Free Press, Junius Ho, a member of the Hong Kong Legislative Council, said of the Gay Games and its participants: “It is your business what you do in your own room, but if you go out and do it in public, it’s disgraceful. The point is simple, the [city governing body] should not get involved in this, it’s the civil society’s business if they want to do it, it’s wrong to throw money into this, and I don’t want to earn this type of dirty money, it doesn’t matter if we earn the HK$1 billion.”

Several companies have been shocked by the outright homophobic comments made by government officials like Ho.

“Our position on the Gay Games is we understand the purpose is to promote inclusiveness and diversity, so we have no problem with that sort of spirit,” said Carrie Lam, chief executive of Hong Kong,

For now, the Gay Games continue to be promoted by the FGG and several members of the Chinese government. To pre-purchase Gay Games tickets, go to

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