First Gay Games in Asia to continue in Hong Kong despite human rights activists’ push to cancel it

First Gay Games in Asia to continue in Hong Kong despite human rights activists’ push to cancel it
Bryan Ke
June 14, 2023
The team behind the first Gay Games in Asia is pushing forward with the planned November event in Hong Kong despite the efforts of five human rights activists to cancel it.
Not backing down: The Gay Games Hong Kong (GGHK) team announced in a statement published on the event’s official website on Monday that they are rejecting “any calls to cancel the Games” this year, adding that the team members are “dismayed and disappointed” that “people outside Hong Kong” are allegedly trying to sabotage the event.
What happened: GGHK published its statement in response to a commentary written by five activists — Alex Chan, Clark Leung, Lorraine Pan, Adam Nelson and human rights activist and lawyer Samuel Bickett — on Outsports on June 7.
The accusations: The activists accused GGHK of providing dangerously misleading information about the safety of potential participants of the games, which they say is a result of GGHK aligning with pro-authoritarian figures responsible for the persecution of Hong Kong residents.
They accused the group of honoring Regina Ip, Hong Kong’s former security secretary who, in 2003, reportedly introduced the first iteration of what is now the national security law. The activists also mentioned GGHK’s Director of Marketing and Public Relations David Ko, who they described as an anti-democracy advocate and Uyghur concentration camp denialist, among other things.
What GGHK is saying: Lisa Lam Mun-wai, co-chair of the Games, told South China Morning Post that they are confused by the activists’ intentions, pointing out that their statement explained how their leadership team consists of volunteers only.
Lam added that GGHK rejects the accusations of their alignment with pro-authoritarian figures, stating that the “safety and security of everyone” is most important for the team.
Event details: Hong Kong is reportedly co-hosting the 11th Gay Games from Nov. 3 to Nov. 11 with Guadalajara, Mexico, where the activists are suggesting the entire event be relocated.
What China is doing for Pride Month: The Chinese government has reportedly begun its crackdown on LGBTQ+-related events scheduled across China for Pride Month, including those in Beijing, Shanghai and Chengdu.

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