Hong Kong will be the first Asian host since the event began in 1982.

Hong Kong will become the first in Asia to host the Gay Games in 2020.

ABS CBN reports that Hong Kong beat Mexico’s Guadalajara and Washington DC to host the 11th edition of the Gay Games.

Attracting 15,000 participants, the bid team said it would bring HKD 1 billion into the local economy. The event is open to all participants, “without regard to sexual orientation, and there are no qualifying standards,” according to the Hong Kong bid team’s statement.

Organised by the LGBTQ community, the Gay Games sees competitors come from all over the globe, even from countries where homosexuality is illegal.

36 sporting events are being planned for Hong Kong’s Gay Games, according to SCMP, including local favourites trail running and dragon boat racing. Tseung Kwan O Sports Ground, Victoria Park swimming pool, and Kai Tak Cruise Terminal are all listed as key venues.

Founded by Olympic decathlete Tom Waddell, the first Gay Games was held in 1982 in San Francisco. 2018’s Gay Games will be held in Paris.

The games will “help to bring a wider understanding and acceptance of our community”, says LGBT community group Hong Kong’s Pink Alliance.

Hong Kong decriminalised homosexuality in 1991 but does not recognise gay marriage.  Hong Kong’s Gay Games bid chair Dennis Philipse said there was a “spirit and passion for increased inclusion and diversity” in Hong Kong.

Although conservative values still prevail, Hong Kong made a landmark ruling in September that granted a lesbian woman a dependant’s visa through her same-sex partner. Heterosexual couples were perviously only eligible for the immigration status.

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