Gay Games XI Countdown Celebration Held in Guadalajara

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GUADALAJARA, Mexico – Guadalajara and Hong Kong will co-host the 2023 Gay Games XI, holding the games from Nov. 3 to 11, 2023, with a kickoff event to begin the one-year countdown held on Friday, November 4 at the Astros de Guadalajara arena.

A variety of celebrities helped welcome the opening of registration for athletes and start the 365 day countdown to the games. Out & About PV was there to cover the opening festival.

Ricky Lips (Who is a living legend of drag in Mexico and who will soon personify the one and only Francis for Netflix) along with Madison Basrey (miss trans star 2022) entertained the night and directed the event where we could see the incredible performances of circo dragon and cinemacanta as well as the vogue community of Guadalajara in addition to the stellar performance of drag race queen Valentina.

The ceremony concluded with the flag and the start of the 365-day countdown for the sports fair and the official call to all athletes.

At the end of the ceremony there was a celebration and the stellar performances of Gala Varo and Cpher (participants of the Mexican Reality La mas draga) as well as the sets of the Dj’s Mistery Affair and Ninja.

The Gay Games federation had awarded Hong Kong the 11th iteration of the Gay Games in 2017. The quadrennial event, a combination of athletics and LGBTQ cultural celebrations, was originally scheduled for 2022 before being pushed a year to buy more time for COVID to recede.

Guadalajara impressed the Federation of Gay Games enough to be one of three finalists for both the 2022 and 2026 Games. Valencia, Spain, recently secured Gay Games 12, which is staying on schedule for 2026 despite the delays for the upcoming event.

Under the co-host concept, there will be two self-contained events under the Gay Games umbrella. In addition to sports there will be ceremonies, village performances, arts & culture events, and more in each city.

More than 10,000 attendees from across the world typically attend the Gay Games, and by having a co-host in North America, the Gay Games will accomplish one of its core missions: making the event as inclusive and accessible as possible.

“We are energized by this opportunity to organize the first Gay Games in Asia and in Latin America both in November 2023,” Gay Games Co-President Sean Fitzgerald told Connect Sports in an interview in 2022.

The logistics of having the games in two different parts of the world have not quite been announced. Only five sports – athletics, swimming, football, tennis and badminton – are set to feature in both cities, leaving some athletes with tough choices. In Guadalajara the remaining sports listed are basketball, beach volleyball, cheerleading, dancesport, diving, golf, Greco-Roman wrestling, powerlifting, softball, ten-pin bowling, volleyball, water polo, and the traditional and charmingly silly swimming event, Pink Flamingo.

Several sports that were part of the Paris 2018 programme are set to miss out this time around. Those not listed separately for the 2023 Games are boxing, cycling (neither road nor mountain biking), figure skating, handball, ice hockey, judo, petanque, speed roller skating, synchronised swimming and triathlon. The Paris Games involved over 10,000 participants from 91 countries, and pumped over 100m euros into the local economy.

The games in Mexico are expected to be an economic boom to the city during the nine days the games are held. In addition to leaving an important economic benefit for the
city, the Gay Games will generate a considerable social impact in the so-called gay capital of Mexico. The Gay Games held their first event in 1982 in the City of San Francisco, and like the Olympic Games, are held every four years (2022 was skipped and moved to 2023 due to the pandemic). The games in addition to integrating sports disciplines, also integrate a cultural and conference agenda.

Registration is open to anyone interested over the age of 18 and it is not a requirement to belong to the any community of sexual diversity. You can register for the Guadalajara events here.

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