Get Out and Play

The myth that being LGBT precludes one from being an athlete has been refuted over and over, and Get Out and Play further seeks to highlight the important role that LGBT people play in the sports world. Philadelphia has a vibrant LGBT sports community and, in Get Out and Play, PGN artistic director and photographer Scott Drake chronicles the match-ups and meets, tournaments and tryouts that stand out on the local LGBT sports calendar, as well as tackles issues like homophobia in sports and unity among local teams.


The Philadelphia Falcons Soccer League (falcons-soccer.org) made the decision earlier this year to move its annual Liberty Bell Classic from Memorial Day weekend to the weekend of OutFest. The tournament has had several morphs in date, location and size. With a little help from Falcon member Jessie Drummer, I reconnected with Craig Carty, who was there at the very beginning.

Pride nights by professional sports organizations are becoming more common as the seasons go by. The Philadelphia Union aims to score with its LGBT soccer fans with its first Pride night July 26, for a matchup against the Columbus Crew SC at Talen Energy Field. The first official Philadelphia Union Pride Night, presented by the Pennsylvania Lottery, sprang up quickly this season, but there is plenty for the inaugural year to make LGBT fans feel welcome.

Summer starts either June 21 if you’re an astronomical purist, May 1 if you follow the meteorological calendar or Memorial Day weekend if you’re all about the days off. Days off? Yep! That’s what I’m talking about!

It hardly seems it, but Memorial Day is a mere four weeks away, and as all the warm-weather sports get into full swing (and kick), there’s plenty to cover across all fields. There are a stack of short stops this month, but the big story is the 10 rugby teams participating in Philadelphia for the Colonial Cup.

 

There are times in journalism when you pause and wonder if anyone is reading your words. It doesn’t matter whether you’re writing a sports column, an editorial, a film or theater review or the follow-up to a murder; sometimes you feel like you might have just an audience of one — yourself.

 

We often forget that sports are about more than just competition. For parents of youngsters, sports are a way for diverse personalities to interact in a playful and stimulating setting. It’s also a setting for learning unity, equality, tolerance, diversity and uniqueness. Personal interaction and teamwork are hallmarks of almost every team sport. Even many individual competitions require a fair amount of those skills.

Every handful of years we run a survey in the paper and online to learn about the readership. The vital part, IMHO, is finding out what people who regularly read PGN really dig into the paper to read. And by regular, I mean you read something online or in print more weeks than you don’t. These are the readers who have found their reasons for being a regular fan and what they’re reading is critical for us to know.

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