Last Friday, the Oakland As announced that they’d be hosting a Pride night on June 17, after former major-league player Billy Bean, who came out as gay after his career, addressed the team about acceptance. Events like this are nothing new: more than half the teams in the majors usually host some kind of LGBT night, like the Giants’s Until There Is A Cure Day this year to benefit AIDS research, and teams frequently host other themed days.
But the negativity that appeared on social media prompted fan Eireann Dolan, whose mother came out to her as a teenager, to buy tickets from anyone offended and donate them to Our Space, LGBTQ Community Center for Teens and Young Adults in Hayward. A+ work, Eireann.
But let’s take a quick look at the now-deleted inciting tweets.
5. “Wow! That’s all I got to say. What other fetishes are we going to recognize at ballgames.”
Oh my god. Really? Identifying as a different sexuality or gender is not a fetish. The queer community does not include the fetish community, thanks, and you can take your kink-inclusive MOGAI synonym back and leave. Not being straight or cis is not sexual deviance, and it’s really insulting to paint all these different communities as pertaining to strictly hyper sexual means of being. It’s a huge kick in the face not only for asexuals, but for entire groups of people that have been trying to escape the sexualized stereotype. I’m honestly kind of surprised I’m still seeing this kind of insult.
4. “Make sure to have special night for straight people!”
Hi, rude and ill-informed stranger! That’s called every single day, week, month, and year. Get back to me when straight people are systemically and socially oppressed for being straight. In fact, get back to me when being straight becomes synonymous with having a deadly virus the same way being gay or trans has.
3. “Are the players going to prance from base to base? Is the starting pitcher going to literally throw like a girl on purpose? Is the team going to have rainbow theme uniforms?”
This is the the most overused and annoying amalgamation of gay stereotypes I have ever seen in my life. This person is prejudiced enough to actually believe that all gay guys are fairies and dainty-like and doesn’t even consider aspects of Pride aside from the stereotypical gay male, either. They also somehow think that a Pride night involves the players pretending to be gay? As if there’s no other way to reach out to the LGBTQ+ community besides assimilating?
…I think you ought to think carefully about your 140 characters next time, buddy.
2. “parents please note this, not a game you want to take your kids to”
Honestly, what do these people think is gonna happen at Pride night? Are the only inhabitants going to be a bunch of fetishists dressed in rainbow leather? Are the teams going to start copulating on the field? I mean, I get it if the tweet came from a bigot who’s suggesting that we don’t want our children to pick up on the wrong things, but the wording suggests more than that.
It’s almost like they don’t view queer people as, well, people.
1. “Call me what you want, I couldn’t care less, this is sick and disgusting.”
The takeaway is this: most sports have always had a masculine undertone to them that breeds homophobia.
But as Eireann says, “People say keep politics out of baseball. I say, no, it’s the perfect place to start. Sports is a uniting force in our country. Let’s do it here.”