The upcoming Gay Games in 2022 in Hong Kong has the potential to benefit Asia's LGBT community, according to the Federation of Gay Games co-President Joanie Evans.
In a recent interview with Sky News on the current Gay Games taking place in Paris, Evans said that she has already sensed great enthusiasm from organizers in Hong Kong. This year's competition and celebration are a way to "build momentum" toward the one in Asia in four years, Sky News reported.
"Having the Games there will open many doors for a lot of people who are more closeted than we are here," the gold medallist in football said. "Hopefully it'll make a big enough statement there that it will change a lot of what happens in Hong Kong as a whole."
The Federation of Gay Games' International Development Director Leviathen Hendricks echoed these sentiments.
"LGBT movements in Asia are now at a phase where the West has been previously, so for the Gay Games to be of service in terms of the self-respect and confidence of Asian LGBT people is something I'm hugely proud of," he told Sky News.
A point of pride in this year's Gay Games has been the "record-breaking" participation of athletes from more than 90 countries, with sizeable representation from Asia.
"We have women from Jamaica and Korea coming to compete, a few people from Bangladesh, there's a sizeable delegation from Taiwan, plus the Philippines and Indonesia," Hendricks said, adding that the participants from China now numbered 60. In the last Gay Games in Cleveland, Ohio, in the US, there was only one Chinese athlete involved.
The 10th Gay Games began in Paris on August 4, and will run until Sunday, August 12.