Phillies to Host Inaugural “Pride Night”

A once-unofficial community gay night has been embraced by the team.

MLB pride logo.

MLB pride logo.

The Philadelphia Phillies will have an LGBT-themed night on their official calendar for the first time on Monday, August 29th.

Gay Community Night, an unofficial pride-themed event backed largely by the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia (GALLOP), had been held during a Phillies game for the past 13 years but could not be listed on the team’s calendar because it was being hosted by an outside entity. Now under the direct support of the Phillies, the event will feature a scoreboard recognizing the community during the second and sixth innings, a rainbow flag flying under the American flag throughout the evening, and performances by the Philadelphia Gay Men’s Chorus. This is progress for the National Baseball League, which currently has fewer than 10 teams hosting official LGBT-themed nights.

“I am very happy about the change,” said Larry Felzer, a gay lawyer and one of the original organizers of Gay Community Night. “GCN was organized by outside groups, and Pride Night is an official event of the team.”

Throwing out the first pitch will be Billy Bean, Major League Baseball’s first Ambassador for Inclusion and an openly gay former outfielder. Tonight’s event comes with lots of LGBT giveaways (such as Phillies pride T-shirt giveaway to the first 1,500 fans to purchase tickets) and opportunities to support causes (such as a 50/50 raffle that will benefit the American Civil Liberties Union of Pennsylvania, which successfully fought for marriage equality in the state). There is also a charity event for LGBT Home for Hope happening right before the Phillies take on the Washington Nationals.

Tickets and more information for Pride Night can be found at the Phillies site.