The Gay Games Federation has shortlisted three host cities for the event in 2026 ©Getty Images

Guadalajara in Mexico, Munich in Germany and the Spanish city of Valencia have been shortlisted to host the Gay Games in 2026.

A list of eight potential host cities was whittled down to three following a vote at the Federation of Gay Games (FGG) General Assembly. 

Auckland in New Zealand, Australian city Brisbane, San Diego in the United States, Chinese Taipei's capital Taipei and Toronto in Canada were the five host cities not selected. 

A total of 20 cities from six continents had initially expressed interest in hosting the 2026 edition of the Gay Games, a record amount. 

Site inspections of the three chosen cities are now set to begin in June and July, depending on the status of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The final vote to determine the winning bid is due to take place at the next FGG General Assembly in Hong Kong in November. 

Munich is one of the three cities to be shortlisted to host the 2026 Gay Games ©Getty Images
Munich is one of the three cities to be shortlisted to host the 2026 Gay Games ©Getty Images

"The FGG wishes to thank all eight bid cities who truly put forth wonderful bids that illuminated the Federation's principles, and we look forward to continuing the process with these three finalists," said FGG officer of site selection David Killian. 

Paris staged the 2018 Gay Games and the 11th edition of the event is scheduled to be in Hong Kong in 2022.

It is expected to be held as planned, despite widespread social unrest in Hong Kong in the past couple of years and the continued impact of the pandemic. 

Around 12,000 participants are set to compete across 26 sports from November 11 to 19 next year.

First held in San Francisco in 1982, the Gay Games seeks to "combat discrimination, promote the recognition and freedoms of LGBT people and promote information on HIV/AIDS, drug use and other risks".