The 31 days of October are dedicated to honoring the historical achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer/questioning people. GLSEN has a site dedicated to this effort, as does the Equality Forum. As for HRC, its site for 2019 is still a good place to visit.
Those are all great resources, but where are all the out LGBTQ athletes? We here at Outsports want to make sure their amazing contributions are not forgotten to history.
So, every day this month, we’ll look back at our pioneers, the mark they left on our community and on the sports world, plus landmark events and stories that show Courage Is Contagious.
Today, we kick things off with a look back at an article by our Cyd Zeigler from July 2011: his memorialization of the first Major League Baseball “Gay Night,” which all started with a kiss, a decade ago:
Los Angeles Dodgers hosted the first Major League Baseball “Gay Night” in 2000 after ejecting two lesbians for kissing.
When Danielle Goldey and Meredith Kott went to the Los Angeles Dodgers game on Aug. 8, 2000, they never imagined they’d set off a chain of events that would lead to “gay days” at pro sporting events for years to come. The happy lesbian couple smooched during said Dodgers game and were quickly surrounded by eight security guards. The security guards escorted them away allegedly saying kids should not be exposed to “those people.”
The couple seethed and went to their lawyer, ready for a lawsuit. Then something unexpected happened: The Dodgers didn’t simply apologized, they donated 5,000 tickets to gay-rights groups and put Goldey and Kott in seats behind home plate to make up for the lost game.
“I was troubled … because of what it implied about the Dodger organization,” team president Bob Graziano said.
With those tickets, a month later on Sept. 6, 2000, GLAAD and the LA Gay & Lesbian Center co-hosted “Gay and Lesbian Night at Dodger Stadium,” which is believed to be the first “gay night” at a pro baseball game.
Most importantly, in the end the two injured parties felt great about how the situation was handled.
“I think they stepped up to the plate more than they had to,” Goldey said. “All we wanted was an apology … I’m very proud to be a Dodger fan.”
“I’m extremely happy with the results,” Kott said.
We’ll have another LGBTQ Sports history story tomorrow and every day through Oct. 31.