The fifth Gay Games, held in probably the most gay-tolerant cosmopolitan city of the world – Amsterdam – from 1 August to 8 August 1998, was billed as ‘the largest queer cultural and sports event this century’ (SGLG 1998b). Hailing from 78 countries overall, there were 16,026 participants with more than half coming from Europe, marking a significant increase in European involvement. For the first time a dedicated outreach programme funded and facilitated the participation of peoples from developing nations and former communist countries of Eastern Europe. With the aim of promoting human rights, international solidarity and the sharing of life experiences as gay and lesbian peoples across the world, an extensive social issues programme was added to the Gay Games format.