Philadelphia’s part in LGBT sports history

All month long, Outsports is revisiting key moments in gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer sports history as part of LGBTQ history month.

Today, we revisit a post co-founder Jim Buzinski wrote in 2008. What he said then still holds true today, especially as Philadelphia hosts Outfest 2019, the 29th annual celebration of National Coming Out Day. In 1990, Philadelphia became the first city in the nation to have an annual NCOD event, called the “National Coming Out Day Block Party.”

From October 29, 2008:

Joe Guckin did a great recap of the Phillies winning the World Series, Philadelphia’s first major championship since 1983. But I wanted to give a shout out to fans who have been with Outsports from the start


(I have no idea who the guy in the photo is, but he can join our team any day).

Philadelphia has the most passionate sports fans in the country and that passion found its way to Outsports from Day 1. Posters like Joe in Philly, Philly Runner, Philly Fan, Scottie (named after then-Phils stud Scott Rolen) et. al. were among those who gave Outsports a jolt of energy and let everyone know that gay and straights fans had one thing in common — they were fans first and knew their stuff. It’s no surprise that one of our highlights was the successful 2004 Outsports conference held in Philadelphia.

Day after day, week after week, month after month and year after year, Philadelphia fans argued about, cheered for and cursed their beloved Eagles, Phillies, Flyers and 76ers. It got so heated on our Discussion Board that I know people a few years ago who rooted against the Eagles every week knowing it would devastate certain fans. Like the city itself, Philadelphia fans are tough, critical and unyielding; nothing chic and trendy like the dilettantes who followed the Red Sox or Cubs and think they invented fandom.

But this same passion created friendships that span the country. One of the first congratulations on the Phils’ win on our Board came from Mariner Duck Guy, who lives 3,000 miles away from Philly: “CONGRATULATIONS to the Philadelphia Phillies and to all my Philly friends!”

A barometer of what Philadelphia was thinking came in the sig of our all-time leading poster, the Babe Ruth, Michael Jordan and Joe Montana of our board, Joe in Philly. “Fire Andy Reid Now,” or “Fire Charlie Manuel Now” told you more about the state of the Eagles or Phillies at a given time than a dozen columns. Joe’s sig today: Philadelphia Phillies: 2008 WORLD SERIES CHAMPIONS!!!!!!!!!!!!

I know it’s been 25 years for Philly franchises, but Outsports Philadelphia fans have been my champions for years.

Tomorrow — and every day in October — we’ll look back at another moment in LGBTQ sports history.


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