[ lgbtq ]
It won't take three strikes to be out Tuesday — at least not in the stands of Citizens Bank Park. Started by gay attorney Larry Feltzer and the Gay and Lesbian Lawyers of Philadelphia (GALLOP) six years ago, the Phillies Gay Community Night now funds the Sean Halpin Memorial Scholarship Fund, awarded to young LGBTQ Philadelphians pursuing a career in law. Halpin was a lawyer and active LGBTQ community member who, after attending the first two community nights, died suddenly of a heart attack in 2004.
"This isn't about advocacy and activism," says Brian Sims, chair of GALLOP, who'll throw out the first pitch at this year's game. "It's about solidarity and community."
The Rainbow Chorale of Delaware will begin the festivities by performing the national anthem. Then, each year, a notable LGBTQ figure throws out the game's first pitch. Both Judge Ann Butchart, Philly's first out lesbian on the bench, and Cyd Zeigler, creator of online outlet for the gay sports community OutSports, have been on the mound at past community nights. Sims, who was the first — and only — openly gay college football captain, is more nervous than you might expect.
"My football skills offer me nothing on a pitching mound," he says. "But both my brothers were pitchers in high school, and they've been really helpful with pointers."
Tue., Aug. 4, 7:05 p.m., $24-$30, Citizens Bank Park, 1 Citizens Bank Way, 215-463-5000, phillies.com/gcn.