The rainbow flag is waving high in Hong Kong today.
The city will become the first Asian city in history to host the Gay Games in 2022.
It beat out Washington, D.C., and Mexico’s Guadalajara to host the 11th edition of the games.
This win is especially significant because Hong Kong does not recognise gay marriage, with the city only decriminalising homosexuality in 1991.
“We fought tirelessly and are elated to bring the games to Asia for the first time,” said bid chair Dennis Philipse.
“I am so proud of everyone on the HK bidding team, that’s a huge achievement. Without a doubt, I will be participating in my 8th gay games in my home town,” said social media user Kelvin Tang on Facebook.
Online users from China also similarly took to Weibo to echo their congratulations.
“Time to visit Hong Kong!” said one Weibo user.
“I would definitely want to participate if I had the chance,” another added.
Hong Kong’s bid team had earlier made its case to the voting committee, saying that bringing the games to the city would help tackle the stigma faced by LGBTQ groups in the region.
LGBTQ discrimination is still a problem in Hong Kong, with even the city’s first openly gay legislator, Chan Chi-chuen, having faced verbal abuse in public.
Last year, banking group HSBC unveiled a pair of rainbow-coloured lions in front of its building, a move which garnered both controversy and praise.
Several groups began campaigns against the lions, and thousands signed a petition for them to be taken down.
The Gay Games, which are open to people of any sexuality, is expected to attract 15,000 participants to Hong Kong and bring some $130 million into the local economy.
The Games, known as the largest LGBTQ sporting event in the world, takes place once every four years and were first held in San Francisco in 1982.
The 2018 Gay Games will be held in Paris next August and will feature 36 sports.
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