Gay Day with the Blue Jays

The Toronto Blue Jays baseball team recently hosted its first-ever Gay Day and asked Mark Tewksbury, Canadian Olympic gold-medal recipient (100-meter backstroke in Barcelona ’92) to join the festivities. The handsome, out athlete (who graced the cover of Time Magazine after his victory) made tracks to Toronto, met up with “Queer as Folk” pal Sharon Gless and reports on the Blue Jays innings and outings on this memorable day. – Ed Salvato, editor, OUT&ABOUT;

Gay Jays

My phone rings. It’s Cindy Hewitt, community director of the Toronto Blue Jays baseball team. The Jays are having their first ever “Gay Day,” she says. Would I like to be there? Hmm, let’s see. Balls, bats and Big League boys. Hardly something any self-respecting gay man could refuse. So I didn’t!
Click here for our just-updated guide to gay Canada.

Since winning the Olympics 12 years ago, I have found myself in the rarest of categories: gay sports celebrity. It’s ironic, because I throw like a girl, can’t skate and usually trip when I go to kick a ball. Thankfully I wouldn’t have to worry about any of this. Sharon Gless, the over-the-top PFLAG mom from Queer as Folk, would be throwing the first ceremonial pitch. I was offered the Vanna White supporting role of check presenter. Look out Toronto, here I come!

The Toronto Blue Jays PRIDE Promotion Billed A Big Success

Imagine traveling to every big league city in the United States and
Canada and attending a home game of every team. All 30 Major
League baseball parks. Every National Football League Stadium. All
the big arenas that house NBA and NHL teams. Think about
tailgating at the venues, checking out the local sports museums and
shrines, hanging out at cool sports pubs and eateries, and
sightseeing all around town.

Picture meeting officials, athletes and VIPs from the sports teams.
And getting the celebrity treatment, including invites in the media.
Think about making friends all across the country.

For two best friends from Buffalo, New York, this has been the sports
lovers’ adventure of a lifetime. We started hitting the road in 1998,
and hit the finish line in December, 2002 at Ford Field in Detroit. At
the time 121 teams playing in 102 different venues in 49 different
cities.

But the Ultimate Sports Road Trip is a journey that has no
conclusion. As new venues in the four major sports are replaced, we
head back to check them out. Minor league baseball and hockey,
college football and college basketball games are also in the plans.

Check out all the cool features on this site… profiles of all the teams,
lots of pictures and OUR rankings on the best and worst places to
attend a game. Link onto our blog and check for news and updates
and join in on the discussion. Enjoy!

PrideFest ’04 includes Pirates game, parade through arts festival

Rainbow flags will add color to Saturday’s Three Rivers Arts Festival and Bucs game scenes when local gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Pittsburghers celebrate PrideFest 2004.

PrideFest 2004 is set for noon to 6 p.m. on the North Shore. The event is expected to draw as many as 2,000 revelers to the scheduled parade, festival and Pirates baseball game.

The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Pittsburgh, based in Squirrel Hill, is sponsoring the activities.

This year’s location gives the event more visibility than it has enjoyed in past years in other city neighborhoods, event co-chairman Rob Sette said.

Thirty units are expected to form the parade that will wind through Downtown, past Gateway Center and the arts festival in Point State Park.

From the Downtown endpoint, marchers will walk to the PrideFest 2004 festival on the North Shore Great Lawn between the Fort Duquesne Bridge and Heinz Field.

The day will be capped off by Pride Day at PNC Park where representatives from the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered community will hurl the ceremonial first pitch, kicking off play between the Pirates and the Seattle Mariners, Sette said.

This year’s PrideFest marks the 31st year for the event.

Gwen Arbuckle can be reached at garbuckle@tribweb.com or (412) 320-7844.