The question of which international destination will host Gay Games XI in 2022 is now in the hands of Federation of Gay Games members. The eight city bidders currently in the running include Austin and Dallas, Texas; Denver, Colorado; Salt Lake City, Utah; San Francisco, California; Washington, D.C.; Guadalajara, Mexico; and Hong Kong.
Voters are tasked with determining which of the cities is best able to deliver an event that is both inclusive and financially successful. Each of the bidding cities has reportedly paid a $7,500 fee for consideration.
San Francisco is where the Gay Games first got their start, way back in 1982. The Games have never taken place in Mexico or Asia.
Come early next year, those eight cities will be pared down to three finalists. Late in 2017, the final vote will occur at a Paris membership meeting.
The Bay Area Reporter’s Roger Brigham notes about the eight city bidders:
They’ve either never put on a sports event of this magnitude or a sports event with this unique mission. They are trying to apply skill sets from politicians, tourism representatives, and human rights activists, and organize a participatory event in which sports reign supreme. Attention to detail is critical and understanding of mission requirements is mandatory. So as the beauty pageant progresses, it will be fascinating which of them actually corrects and educates itself.
The way cities portray themselves in the bids is illuminating. Cities such as Austin or Dallas paint themselves as vanguards of progressive acceptance and human rights, although Dallas brags about having a gayborhood while Austin proclaims its greater integration. Others, such as Guadalajara and Hong Kong, stress that a Gay Games would change perceptions and conditions for local LGBT residents.
Brigham’s best guess for which city will win the 2022 games? Washington, D.C.
Among the sports with the best chance to join the Gay Games’ long list of competitions are climbing, rodeo and frisbee games.
(Featured photo: Gay Games VII Opening Ceremony, Soldier Field, Chicago, photo by John Faier)