The Gay Games began in 1982 as a sporting and cultural event designed to promote inclusion and celebrate the LGBTQ+ community, to provide a safe and supportive space for LGBTQ+ athletes, fostering a sense of community and challenging stereotypes.
The event was the brainchild of Tom Waddell, and was originally called the Gay Olympics. After threatened legal action from the IOC, the name was changed to the Gay Games, which it has had ever since.
The Gay Games has been held every four years. The next event is the 12th Gay Games, to be held in 2026 in Valencia, Spain.