A local campaign has been launched to bid to bring the Gay Games to Brisbane in 2026.
The Gay Games have been held every four years since 1982 to provide a safe environment for LGBTIQ athletes to compete with all athletes invited to take part.
The event has grown to attract over 10,000 athletes in different sports and tens of thousands of spectators from worldwide. The 10th Gay Games was held earlier this year in Paris, France.
Healthcare worker and athlete Jason Davis is one of the organisers behind the Brisbane 2026 push, and he says the Gay Games would be a perfect fit for the city.
“Most people would see the Australian way of life as being ideal, and I believe the Queensland way of life is more so,” he told QNews Magazine.
Davis has competed in the Gay Games before, but due to an injury this year travelled to the Paris Games as a volunteer and a spectator, giving him a different perspective on the event.
“Discrimination, vilification, aggression and violence against LGBTIQ people still exists globally,” he said.
“The Gay Games are all about providing a safe environment for athletes from all over the world to achieve their own personal best. That’s the Australian lifestyle isn’t it?
“Everybody I spoke to at the Gay Games this year said Australia is known for its free and easy lifestyle, our catch phrase ‘No worries’, and the friendly people. It makes sense to bring the two together.”
He said Queensland also boasted accessible facilities outside Brisbane, especially on the Gold and Sunshine Coasts.
“We’ve already shown that we’re an ideal location with the staging of the Gold Coast Commonwealth Games earlier this year,” he said.
“I think we can show that we can do it with the Gay Games.
“It would stimulate interest not just in the event itself, but also give the LGBTIQ-inclusive sporting teams themselves a big boost.
“Many of the teams around the city that we’ve approached have come on board, and we want to see more.”
A contingent of Australian athletes travelled to France in August to compete in the Gay Games, many for the first time. The event was last held here in Sydney in 2002.
How to get involved
The Brisbane 2026 campaign was launched at the Brisbane Pride Festival’s Fair Day last Saturday.
Davis said the amount of support he’d received for the bid had exceeded his expectations.
“A lot of people are super pumped and enthusiastic about this,” he said.
“We’re wanting to spread the word. We’re starting off small with our Facebook page.
“What we’re trying to do first is stimulate interest by word of mouth. We’re encouraging people to share the page with their friends.
“A critical part is linking up with a team of talented professionals to steer this and help build the bid for the Games.
“I don’t want this bid to just tick the boxes and get over the line, I want this bid to wow the selectors.”
Davis said the organising team are aiming to get a board elected by this time next year.
The successful bid for the 2026 Gay Games will be announced at the Federation of Gay Games’ Annual General Meeting in Hong Kong in 2021.
The next Gay Games competition will be held in Hong Kong in 2022.