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The Olympics have a checkered history when it comes to welcoming and celebrating LGBTQ+ athletes. Some sports are inclusive and have been for decades; others remain closed. Some nations (think Sochi in 2014) are actively hostile, with anti-gay laws on the books that exclude and endanger athletes. And of course trans and gender non-conforming competitors continue to fight biased policies that exclude them.
The Gay Games was founded in 1982 by decathlete Dr. Tom Wadellis as an antidote. For 30 years, it has celebrated diversity and inclusion while conducting competition at a high international level.
Like the Olympics, the Gay Games occur every four years and rotates locations. The inaugural games occurred in San Francisco and have since traveled the globe, landing in cities such as Paris, Sydney, and Vancouver. Past games have hosted more than 10,000 athletes from all over the world who compete in 36 sports ranging from swimming to track and field, trail running, soccer, rugby, racket sports, and sailing. In November 2022, the Gay Games will take place in Hong Kong. You can register, donate, or volunteer here.