Out At The Park
Recently, when working on Pride’s annual OUT at the Park event, I was asked, “What’s your agenda?” Many of us in our community understand the loaded nature of that question and how deeply it can cut. Our mission is to foster pride, equality, and respect for all LGBT communities—locally, nationally, globally; and that transformative work can take many forms.
To this day, there is still a glass ceiling for our community in major league sports. Even locker rooms and PE classes remain unsafe spaces for our LGBTQ youth. That is why OUT at the Park is so important. We are striving to eradicate homophobia in athletic spaces.
Last year, the Padres made history. Petco Park, home of the Padres, became the first MLB ballpark to have a gender-neutral, multi-stall restroom. Furthermore, their staff joined ours along with LGBT elected officials, the San Diego Women’s Chorus, and the San Diego Gay Men’s Chorus to sing the national anthem in solidarity. This year, the Padres are taking further historic steps forward by having our Pride Youth Marching Band perform before the game, and by having our Military Department’s color guard to present the colors.
Rainbow hats are great, but the Padres’ efforts towards intentional inclusion and the dismantling of discrimination are the real home runs in my book. That is our agenda, and that is how, together, we Persist with Pride.