On June 17, the Oakland Athletics (aka the A’s) will be hosting its first ever LGBT Pride Night at its home stadium, O.co Coloseum — a rare but very awesome statement of solidarity coming from a professional sports team. But not everyone was happy with the announcement, and when A’s pitcher, Sean Doolittle, and his girlfriend, Eireann Dolan, found out some season ticket holders were looking to scalp their tickets in protest, they decided to do something about it. Dolan, who has two moms (both “die-hard A’s fans”), was particularly disappointed and disheartened to see so many against LGBT Pride Night — but rather than judge, she offered to do something ridiculously awesome.
“Everybody is entitled to their own beliefs and as long as nobody is getting hurt, I’m happy,” Dolan wrote on her blog, Thank You Based Ball. “I also can’t stop you from selling your tickets. I won’t tell you that you are wrong or that you are not allowed to think or act that way.”
“[If] attending a baseball game on LGBT Pride Night makes you at all uncomfortable, it is probably a good idea to sell your tickets. And I have the perfect buyer. ME!” she continued. “If you’d like to sell your tickets to June 17th’s LGBT Pride Night game, I will buy them from you at face value. As many as I can. No judgments. No questions asked.”
Dolan said she will donate any purchased tickets to the Bay Area Youth Center’s Our Space community for LGBTQ youth — and she encouraged others to do the same. In an update to her blog post, Dolan has said Doolittle will match any tickets she purchases, as well; meaning the pair can double down on their efforts to make sure the night is a sell-out.
To even further their efforts, the couple have also set up a GoFundMe.com page with a goal of “Filling the Stands on Pride Night,” where Dolan and Doolittle said they would match all donations up to $3,000. Any extra money raised after hitting their initial goal of $6,000 will go to various LGBTQ non-profits in the Bay Area; but after reaching that amount in less than a day, they raised their goal to $10,000. As of today, the campaign has raised over $22,000 from 580 backers — which is absolutely amazing. According to their page, O.co has even opened up three new seating sections for Pride Night in order to accommodate the new demand.
Visibility and support remain as important as ever in the LGBTQ community — particularly for LGBTQ youth, who are at a greater risk of becoming homeless and being sexually victimized, according to the National Coalition for the Homeless — and the money raised by Doolittle and Dolan will go to helping those who need it most. It’s super inspiring to know so many people came together to make the A’s LGBT Pride Night as big of an event as it should be. While it may seem like something small in the scheme of things, it’s small steps that will help us work towards making equality possible for all people, regardless of their gender identity and sexuality, and every step we take is essential.
“Thank you all for supporting this effort,” Dolan wrote on her blog. “Since posting this, the response has been (unsurprisingly) overwhelmingly positive.”
We couldn’t be more inspired that Dolan and Doolittle took the initiative and turned so much negativity into something so wonderful.