Dodgers Stadium 'Bleeds Rainbow' With Pride Night on June 11

by Michelle Sandoval

EDGE Media Network Contributor

Thursday June 17, 2021

The LA Dodgers' LGBTQ Pride Night featured the return of the Kiss Cam.
The LA Dodgers' LGBTQ Pride Night featured the return of the Kiss Cam.  (Source:Screencap/LA Dodgers/YouTube)

Pride 2021 is in "full swing," and the Los Angeles Dodgers honored the LGBTQ community this past Friday with a number of celebrations during the game.

"You're Out!" had a double meaning that evening as thousands of LGBTQ fans entered the stadium gates in full Pride gear, lighting up the stadium with far brighter lights than you could find on the field. With the recognition of LGBTQ First Responders, drink specials, an exclusive commemorative t-shirt and cups to take home, Friday Night fireworks set to music by DJ Bowie Jane, and additional surprise guests during the pre-game ceremony, the evening was a "grand slam."

The event marked the 8th year the Dodgers' organization has hosted a Pride event, but their support of the community doesn't end with a single event; they support local organizations year-round. Some of their community partners include the Greater Los Angeles Softball Association, Outsports, Hi Tops Sports Bar, and the Varsity Gay League. And, with tennis legend Billie Jean King and partner Ilana Kloss now part owners of the team, we can expect embracement of the LGBTQ foundations to keep growing, as they are well-known for wanting to grow the community's inclusion in the world of sports. The couple joined the Dodgers family in 2018.

King and Kloss were on hand for the pre-game ceremonies, waving at a sea of rainbow-clad fans in the stadium and welcoming special guests. Other honorees that evening were Reverend Troy Perry, who founded the Metropolitan Community Church (MCC) of Los Angeles in October of 1968. Since then, the MCC is recognized as the longest continuously operating LGTBQ church in the world, with over 172 churches in 72 countries. Reverend Perry is recognized as an influential leader in the LGBTQ civil rights movement. The MCC currently conducts services in Los Feliz, proudly providing a safe place for practicing Christians of the community to worship peacefully and safely.

Also in attendance was Sharon-Franklin Brown, the first Black transgender woman to be appointed Board President of LA Pride and Christopher Street West (CSW). She was beaming from centerfield, with a radiant smile full of passion and appreciation as the crowd roared with cheers. Brown is an activist and national speaker on transgender rights, who stepped into her new role with CSW in September of last year. CSW is known for organizing the world's first recognized Pride parade advocating gay rights in 1970. The parade was created as a response to the Stonewall Rebellion on Christopher Street in NYC in 1969, the site of the riots that launched the gay rights movement. CWS and LA Pride now host the LA Pride Parade & Festival (the second largest in the country), as well as numerous other events throughout the year that support diversity, equality, and inclusion.

The crowd was brought to its feet by all the honorees, and the excitement lasted throughout the evening with plenty of things to celebrate on and off the field. The Kiss Cam is always a favorite at any ballgame, and it is so heart-warming to see couples of all genders smooching on the jumbotron. For a crowd notorious for "Bleeding Blue," every color of the rainbow was represented that night, proving that baseball, and all sports in general, are making the steps to becoming all-inclusive.

The night came to and with a victory over the Texas Rangers (12-1), an overall highly exciting game that opened up with three home runs by the Dodgers in the first inning. Fans were treated to one last celebration with a spectacular fireworks show set to music by DJ Bowie Jane. Jane has performed at thousands of venues around the world and is gaining success not only through her DJ sets but as a singer/songwriter herself.

It is always great to see our local sports teams embrace the LGBTQ community. Players and teams are becoming more vocal of their acceptance, adding a little extra glitter to a sport considered America's favorite pastime. It is through the example and leadership of teams like the Los Angeles Dodgers that the needs of this community can continue to be met, and that can count as a major win in any playbook.

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