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Mexico hosts the first Gay Games in Latin America

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Mexico hosts Gay Games 11 / PHOTO: Getty Images
  • Guadalajara, Mexico hosts the Gay Games 11.
  • Hong Kong is also hosting.
  • It’s a historic moment for inclusion in Latin America

Guadalajara is solidifying its status as an LGBTQ-friendly capital by becoming the first city in Latin America, and the first Spanish-speaking city, to host the Gay Games.

These games are considered the largest sports and cultural event for the LGBTQ+ community worldwide.

The city, located in western Mexico, displayed the rainbow colors at the opening of Gay Games 11.

The opening ceremony took place on Saturday, November 4, with 4,000 LGBTQ+ athletes from 35 countries in attendance.

Mexico hosts Gay Games 11

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Photo: Shutterstock

It’s worth noting that, for the first time, heterosexual athletes will be allowed to compete to demonstrate inclusivity.

Guadalajara was once considered one of the most conservative cities in Mexico, but it will now host the Gay Games from November 3 to November 11.

Alejandro Serratos, one of the event’s promoters, stated that the goal is to raise awareness of sexual diversity and advocate for LGBTQ+ rights.

«The Gay Games in Guadalajara are a springboard to achieve our rights and continue making progress,» Serratos said.

Advocating for diversity in sports

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Photo: Shutterstock

Jaime Cobián, founder of the organization Codise, believes that the Gay Games will encourage people to view the LGBTQ+ community differently.

«The visibility and support being provided are essential, but the most important thing is that it contributes to cultural change…» Cobián said.

Cobián also emphasized the need for society to change its perspective by accepting the LGBTQ+ community with respect and inclusion.

He is one of the first LGBTQ+ activists in Guadalajara. In 1991, they attempted to host the International Lesbian, Gay, Transgender and Queer Conference.

A race toward inclusion

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Andrés Treviño Luna, Director of Sexual Diversity for the government of Jalisco and co-organizer of the games, spoke to EFE.

«Hosting the Gay Games is an ‘act of historical reparation’ following the rejection in 1991, but it is also a way to show that progress is possible.»

He added that, more than 30 years later, an event driven by civil society, private initiatives, the state government and municipalities is about to begin.

«It also highlights the possibility of changing the city’s landscape,» he said.

Mexico hosts the Gay Games: Cultural emphasis

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Photo: Shutterstock

Gay Games 11, which was delayed due to the pandemic, is taking place in a Spanish-speaking country and a Latin American city for the first time since 1982.

In addition to the games, which have already begun, there will be a cultural program featuring LGBTQ+ artists.

The epicenter will be the Villa Paraísa, where there will be health and HIV workshops, as well as sexuality workshops.

Activities will extend to other locations, featuring fashion shows, art exhibitions, benefits, theater and music. There will also be two exhibition galas.

Could Guadalajara host WorldPride next?

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Photo: Shutterstock

Finally, Serratos mentioned that this event is a stepping stone for Guadalajara to host WorldPride.

That is the largest Pride celebration in the world, set for 2029. There is also the International AIDS Conference in 2026.

Alejandro also told EFE that Guadalajara, Jalisco, is among the finalists to host these events.

The Gay Games feature competitions in 22 disciplines similar to the Olympics and are held every four years to raise visibility for the LGBTQ+ community.

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