(May 11) — The York Revolution announced today the team will host the York area’s first LGBTQ Pride Night at PeoplesBank Park on Wednesday, June 14, marking the area’s biggest celebration of National Pride Month.
Former Major League Baseball and Atlantic League pitcher Joe Valentine will be the special guest. Representing Athlete Ally, Valentine will address an invited audience of York and Adams County high school and college athletic directors and coaches regarding issues of homophobia in athletics and offer advice to those coaches on how to confront it on their teams. A limited number of tickets are available for sale to the general public.
“I have been a lifelong ambassador to the LGBT community, having been raised since birth by lesbians,” said Valentine. “The world needs more understanding and patience and less hate and ignorance, and I hope I can help with spreading the word.”
Athlete Ally is a 501c-3 nonprofit organization that provides public awareness campaigns, educational programming, and tools and resources to foster inclusive sports communities. The programs include “Ambassadors” from over 80 colleges and more than 100 professional athletes.
Valentine will also address fans in the seating bowl prior to the game and throw out a first pitch. Valentine pitched professionally for 11 years, including parts of three seasons for the Cincinnati Reds at the Major League level. He pitched for the Long Island Ducks in the Atlantic League in portions of the 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 seasons.
Revolution President Eric Menzer said that the organization’s goals have always included “being the most welcoming place in York. That attitude extends to our LGTBQ fans. When a committee of employees and fans approached us with this idea, we not only wanted to do it, but also wanted to make sure we could be part of the solution to homophobia and exclusion in sports. Working with Athlete Ally, we hope we can be a resource to others who want to do the same.”
Menzer added that LGBTQ Pride Night is a collaborative effort by the Revolution, Legends Hospitality, Equality Fest, Family First Health, PFLAG York, the LGBT Center of Central PA, i-ron-ic, and the City of York.
The night will also feature a pre-game ceremony honoring local LGBTQ community leaders and advocates and LGBTQ members of the armed forces, a parade around the field featuring rainbow flags presented by Equality Fest, a proclamation presented by York Mayor Kim Bracey, performances by the Harrisburg Gay Men’s Chorus and UCC Open and Affirming Singers, and more.
Equality Fest Founder and President Carla Christopher said LGBTQ Pride Night will welcome York County LGBTQ community members “to be exactly who they were born to be” as they take in the fun of a Revolution game.
“Events like this lift up the stories of real people from our community and demonstrate support and celebration of all of our differences,” Christopher said. “And York knows how to throw the ultimate party. When you combine baseball and the LGBT community, it couldn't be anything but the best Pride night ever. I can't wait!”
Tickets for the private Joe Valentine speaking appearance include a game ticket and two-hour all-you-can-eat buffet for $30. Gates will open early at 4:30 p.m. for attendees. Click HERE
and choose “Home Run Patio” among the ticket selections, or call the Apple Chevrolet Ticket Office at (717) 801-HITS to purchase tickets.