The countdown to the 2023 Gay Games XI is literally on. At a recent ceremony in Guadalajara, Mexico, officials and local celebrities gathered to start a 365-day timer and put out the call for athletes to register.

Note: Though the countdown clock was large, never underestimate a queen’s ability to find her light, let alone five of them. You can barely see it behind the above photo of Mexican drag legend Ricky Lips, Drag Race alum Valentina, Miss Trans star Madison Basrey, and local drag favorites Gala Varo and Cpher, who all deserve gold medals in turning looks.

Related: The inspiring story of a gay swim team that swam its way to victory back in 1982

The upcoming Gay Games are set to take place November 3 to 11, 2023 and will look a little different from previous ones. Originally scheduled for 2022 in Hong Kong, the events were pushed back a year due to Covid. During that time, organizers decided to try out a new co-host concept with Guadalajara, meaning two separate, self-contained Games will take place.

 

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Athletics, swimming, football, tennis and badminton events will take place in both cities. You can find each city’s remaining events here.

“We are energized by this opportunity to organize the first Gay Games in Asia and in Latin America both in November 2023,” Gay Games Co-President Sean Fitzgerald told Connect Sports earlier this year.

The games are open to all who wish to participate, and athletes are encouraged to “sign up as quickly as possible.”

So to inspire the pack, we thought it was the perfect time to relive these fun, inspiring or downright sexy moments from Gay Games past:

The first Gay Games were held in 1982 in San Francisco. 1,350 pro and amateur athletes from over 170 cities participated, and you can see from the above photo that even from the beginning, the event is just as much about having fun as it is competing.

Four years later, the HIV/AIDS epidemic was ravaging the LGBTQ community, especially in cities like San Francisco, which again hosted the Gay Games in 1986.

Coming together in moments of joy and celebration couldn’t have been more vital in an otherwise dark time, and while we don’t expect you to watch all one hour and twenty-five minutes of the wrestling event above, it’s definitely worth a scan.

Related: 10 pro baseball players who came out and set the stage for a future gay World Series champ

The smiles on many competitors faces reveal the spirit of the event, and the onesies reveal something else entirely.

Here’s another inspiring look at the Games that year from the GLBT Historical Society:

 

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In more recent years, the Gay Games has expanded to include upwards of 12,000 participants from around the world.

Here’s a taste of the most recent Paris ’18 Games, and of what’s in store if you feel the call to join them:

 

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