Sports is about fighting. Fighting for the extra base hit, the poster dunk, the touchdown. Scratching and clawing for the coveted win.
It’s a representation of what people in our world do every day. Some people have to fight to merely survive, provide food and shelter for their family, or to get out of bed. Minorities in this country fight every day to merely be recognized as equal human beings who deserve a place in this world. That includes the LGBTQ community.
As a member of that community myself, I see the Brewers Pride Night theme, which will give everyone in attendance for that game a shirt with a rainbow colored Brewers logo on it, as a supportive nod to the fight the LGBTQ community continues to fight everyday. The fight to be recognized, respected and accepted.
And everyone’s fight is different. Personally, I’m lucky to have had an easy one. I’ve never had one negative experience in my life due to the fact that I am a gay man. But I’m lucky. Some, flee their home countries in fear of beatings, being imprisoned or killed. Others stand up to a Vice President who believes LGBTQ people need to be “cured”. And some, as we’ve seen in a recent Supreme Court case, can’t buy a wedding cake.
Many struggle with mental illness.
According to the National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI), LGBTQ individuals are almost three times more likely to suffer depression. One of the leading causes of death for LGBTQ individuals aged 10-24 is suicide as they are four times more likely to attempt suicide then their straight counterparts.
The gesture the Brewers are making by hosting a Pride Night this Thursday against the rival St. Louis Cardinals could seem small. It’s one night, during Pride Month, and one shirt for 30,000+ fans.
But somewhere at home watching the game on TV, or somewhere in the stands, there is a kid, teenager, or adult who feels alone, who feels like there is no one who is like them. Maybe they don’t feel comfortable with themselves. Maybe they don’t know any other LGBTQ people. Maybe they don’t fit the “stereotypes” of being gay. Or maybe they haven’t met a significant other who hates the Cardinals as much as they do.
Sometimes the biggest fight, not just for those in the LGBTQ community, is the fight against loneliness. That fan, that kid, is going to feel a hell of a lot better knowing their favorite baseball team supports who they are.
Sometimes that makes all the difference. Happy Pride Month, and go Brewers.