Host cities have been as follows:
- 1982 San Francisco
- 1986 San Francisco
- 1990 Vancouver
- 1994 New York
- 1998 Amsterdam
- 2002 Sydney
- 2006 Chicago
- 2010 Cologne.
The next Gay Games is to be held in 2014 in Cleveland and Akron, Ohio, USA,and the one after that in Paris in 2018 (London having been shortlisted but failed to win).
As a result of a dispute between the organisers and the city of Montreal, a rival event, the first World OutGames, was held in Montreal in July 2006, only a few weeks after the Chicago Gay Games. Since then both evebnts have continued, but with the World OutGames being held a year before the Gay Games.
It is intended to reunite the two events in 2018.