Evaluators from the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) recently visited Hong Kong to consider its bid to be the first Asian city ever to host the Gay Games, specifically the 2022 incarnation of the international LGBTQ sporting event. The evaluators seemed enthusiastic after meeting with community leaders and touring the region’s sporting and cultural venues, but Hong Kong’s anti-gay activists seem far less enthusiastic.
According to The South China Morning Post, an organization called the Family School SODO Concern Group attempted to disrupt the evaluators’ tour by protesting their party with the bid committee.
Roger Wong, the group’s leader told the Post, “It is not appropriate for Hong Kong to host. This is against the will of Hong Kong people. It is a gay parade disguised in a format of games, which I think is not honest with people.”
According to a post on the organization’s Facebook page, a Gay Games supporter allegedly clashed with the protestors outside of the party, snatching a sign out of one of the protestor’s hands, crumpling it up, throwing it on the ground and calling their protest “hate speech.”
A Family School SODO Concern Group Facebook post claims that gay people can be turned straight (a form of psychological abuse known as “ex-gay therapy”), and also said that anti-LGBTQ activists around the world have been “accused of discrimination, suffered loss of work or access to school, and … violence or death threats.” Their claims mirror talking points long used by anti-LGBTQ activists in America to paint the LGBTQ community as dangerous and intolerant.
If Wong’s group sounds vaguely familiar, it’s because they also protested the global financial firm HSBC in 2016 for displaying two rainbow-colored lion statues outside their Hong Kong headquarters during a month-long campaign for LGBTQ rights. Wong claimed that the lions were “trampling on the existing values of Hong Kong” and could “hurt the feelings” of HSBC’s supporters. HSBC did not remove the lions.
The Family School SODO Concern Group is allied with another anti-LGBTQ group called ProFamily Hong Kong.
Supporters of the Gay Games say that the visibility of LGBTQ athletes could help change Hong Kong’s attitudes towards issues like coming out, same-sex marriage, social equality and LGBTQ people in general.
(Featured image by yongyuan via iStock Photography)