BRISTOL – As part of ongoing city and educational partnerships, the Bristol Blues baseball team held Pride Night at Muzzy Field Wednesday in support of the LGBT community.
“I think it’s one of those things that we’re accepting and all-inclusive regardless of who people are,” said Blues Team Manager Ronnie Palmer. “We want to be holistic here at the Blues. A lot of professional athletes are coming forward and others are with their voices. I think the big thing is that this sort of thing exposes people to different walks of life. That is important because it gives them a comfort level where they can share and express feelings.”
Palmer said it was a blessing to think out of the box with the team’s events.
“I think it’s important to show our youth that our city is committed to giving them a safe space and just being present and collaborating in showing that Bristol is a place for everyone,” said Bristol Parks, Recreation and Community Services Youth and Family Coordinator Kyana Anderson.
Blues Pride Night was intended to be held last year but with the pandemic taking place the event was held this year instead.
“It’s been a long year and it’s good to be back and we are grateful for the Blues to have an open mind and collaborate with us,” said Anderson.
Bristol Central High School student Jenn Fomenko, who also serves as the president of Bristol Central’s LiberationGBT+ club was credited with the idea of first coming up with a Pride Night.
“So, last year, I was reading Sissy by Jacob Tobia,” said Fomenko. “Essentially, I thought what if we had our first Bristol Pride events in Bristol. I went to a few council meetings, seeing who would pick up the idea. Last year around March, we decided on Bristol Blues. They actually contacted me. It was really nice that it worked out.”
Bristol Youth and Community Services’ club L.G.B. Teens and Queens was also present along with LiberationGBT+ membership to take part in Pride Night events.
“It’s been a learning experience for me and we keep the focus on the kids; what do they need and what do they want to do? How can they impact the community?” said LiberationGBT+ Student Advisor Corey Nagle. “They designed a safe space sticker and educated teachers about what it is to be a safe space and teachers did choose to have those. They wanted to have a Pride Day and covid interrupted everything so we’re having it now.”
Blues General Manager Nick Rascati said the Blues were excited for Pride Night and wanted to help the community as much as possible.
“We have the ability to kind of provide a platform for people to come out and express themselves so we want people to use that as much as we can,” said Rascati. “Inclusion is important to us. I think some of the big things we do with our players is get them out to community events. We get them out to schools and camps and it’s important for kids, for the times we are here out of the year, to have figures to look up to.”