Monday, November 06, 2023

On a note of optimism, the Gay Games 2023 are being held in Hong Kong.

Yes, Hong Kong that is pretty much controlled by Mainland China which rivals USA in economic stature. There is worry about how China deals with human rights, but at least the Gay Games can proceed in Hong Kong.

There are some issues, but the games can go forward. Strict covid shutdowns, in Hong Kong's recent past means that the Gay Games also had a backup plan; Guadalajara, Mexico. This year's games are taking place in two venues. Some Hong Kong human rights activists called for the Games to be cancelled saying organizers "have aligned themselves with pro-authoritarian figures responsible for widespread persecution against the people of Hong Kong".

Taiwan is not sending athletes to Hong Kong but to Guadalajara, citing concerns over the the National Security Law that China imposed on Hong Kong in 2020.

China's government did not send officials to the opening ceremony, warning the organizers, in August, that the Games must be conducted in a “lawful, safe and orderly manner”. Regina Ip, convener of the city’s top decision-making body the Executive Council, was the only pro-establishment figure at the opening ceremony, despite calls from anti-LGBTQ lawmakers for her to resign.

"The holding of the Gay Games in Hong Kong is strong testimony to the diversity, inclusion, and unity of our city," Ip said in her welcoming speech. "Equal opportunity and non-discrimination are highly treasured by our government and our people."

Opposition did not dampen the excitement, spectators chanted, cheered and waved before the opening ceremony.

“This is a good idea because especially China is not very fond of the gays. So this is to become visible in China as queer people,” said Gerrit Schulz, 80, a participant from Berlin.

My comment plus excerpts from article in Reuters.

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