LA Dodgers to celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Night one year after unprecedented conservative backlash

Drag performers at Dodgers Stadium

The LA Dodgers are set to host their annual LGBTQ+ Pride Night, one year on from the backlash and controversy that engulfed the US baseball team for playing host to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence.

The 11th annual event will be held at Dodger Stadium, presented by Blue Shield of California, on Friday (14 June).

Fans will be able to take dance lessons from Stud Country, a group that honours queer cowboy culture, enjoy music from DJ Brizzle and get involved in a “vogue off”. In addition, OutLoud Sports will host a kickball championship game on the outfield, and the national anthem will be performed by “Tomboy” singer Destiny Rogers.

A team statement said players and coaches will once again wear special Pride Night hats, and fans who purchase a special ticket package will receive an exclusive Dodger LGBTQ+ jersey.

During last year’s Pride month, the baseball team faced a conservative storm after inviting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a drag street performance troupe which mixes religious and camp imagery, to the event.

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - JUNE 11: General view as Dodgers fans celebrate LGBTQ+ Pride Night hosted by LA Pride and the Dodgers at Dodger Stadium on June 11, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/Getty Images)
The 11th annual LGBTQ+ Night at Dodgers Stadium is taking place on 14 June. (Jerritt Clark/Getty Images)

Trouble began to brew after Florida senator Marco Rubio said the inclusion of the drag act meant the Dodgers were not inclusive to Christians because their performance style “mocks Christians through diabolical parodies of our faith”.

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In response, the Dodgers dropped the group from the event, saying their inclusion had been “the source of some controversy”. The LGBTQ+ community criticised the decision to give into pressure from conservatives.

A prominent member of the drag group, Sister Roma, said it was disappointing to see the team “cave to conservative pseudo-Christian homophobes”.

Right-wing protesters at last year’s event. (Meg Oliphant/Getty Images)

Just days later, Dodgers backtracked and re-invited the Sisters, after “much thoughtful feedback from our diverse communities”, and issued an apology to the group.

In response, right-wing religious groups, holding placards which read “stop anti-Catholic hate” and “God will not be mocked”, turned up outside Dodger Stadium to protest.

Outside Dodgers Stadium, demonstrators held signs It remains to be seen if there will be protests outside the stadium this year.

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