Sports Why Not a Gay Night at Safeco Field?
posted by May 30 at 10:36 AMon
The Mariners code of conduct for fans famously bans “displays of affection not appropriate in a public, family setting.” Well, fans at the ballpark are banned from engaging in skeezy PDA anyway—at home I can watch the game in a sling, if I like. But since “family” is often right-wing code for “anti-gay” (see: “family values,” “Family Research Council,” “the traditional family”), while I had her on the phone I took the opportunity to ask Rebecca Hale, Director of Public Information for the Seattle Mariners, just how the Mariners organization defines the word “family.”
“I don’t know,” Hale replied after a short pause.
My boyfriend and I have season tickets and we take our 10 year-old son to the ballpark all the time. Do we qualify as a “family” at Safeco Field?
“We need all the fans we can get right now,” said Hale. “So we’re not going to discriminate against anybody based on any classification at all—age, race, religion, sexual orientation. We are welcoming to all individuals and we want to create an atmosphere at the ballpark where everyone feels welcome and everyone can come and have a good time.”
In the interests of making sure queer fans feel welcome, the Giants, Padres, Oakland As, Dodgers—basically every other MLB team on the West Coast—all have officially sponsored and recognized gay nights or pride nights at their ballparks. So do the Colorado Rockies (“Pride Night at Coors Field”), the Chicago Cubs (“Out at the Ballgame”), the Chicago White Sox (“Gay Games Night”), the Boston Red Sox (“Out at Fenway Park”), and lots of other teams. Since the Mariners want everyone to feel welcome, and seeing as Seattle has the largest gay community per-capita next to San Francisco, how come the Seattle Mariners don’t have a gay night?
“I don’t know,” said Hale. “I don’t think it’s a situation where we have made a decision that we are not going to do that. I honestly can’t tell you why it hasn’t happened.”
Considering the uproar over this contested lesbian kiss, the murkiness surrounding just what the Ms mean by “family setting,” and the Ms’ stated desire to make sure everyone feels welcome at Safeco Field, maybe now would be a good time for the Ms to follow the lead of the Giants (“LGBT Night Out”), Dodgers (“Gay & Lesbian Night at Dodger Stadium”), Padres (“Pride Night at Petco Park”), et al, and launch a gay night at Safeco Field.
“I’ve got no issue with that,” said Hale. “It works for me. I’d be happy to talk it over with marketing and promotions and the folks that usually work to create the events in the ballpark. I’m happy to do that.”
Hale promised to talk with her marketing and promotions people next week, and get back to me by Friday.