It was celebration of inclusion and diversity at Target Field on Monday evening as the Twins hosted their own Pride Night game. It was a night dedicated to honoring and celebrating the LGBTQ community. Minnesota United’s Collin Martin was in attendance sporting a personalized Twins jersey with his last name and number 17 stitched on the back. Before the MNUFC Pride Match on June 29, Martin released a public message via Twitter announcing his own sexual orientation, thanking his teammates and the entire organization for accepting him and creating a space of inclusion for him to be himself comfortably. The Twins honored him before their game Monday night in a dedication to LGBTQ community members across the Twin Cities.
Miguel Ramos, director of diversity and inclusion for the Twins and the man that helped make Monday night possible, said, “We have only one Twins Territory where everyone is welcome.” Being representative of a diverse fan base is an important focus for Ramos. “It’s about showing the community that we care about them,” he said.
Vice Chair of the Gay for Good National Leadership Board Beth Mejia threw out the first pitch for the Twins on Monday night. Along with Collin, Mejia was a part of the diverse group of LGBTQ community members and allies represented at the game and honored for their trailblazing work and commitment to being their authentic selves. Mejia’s family members, some flown in from Los Angeles, shed tears of joy seeing her on the field representing the LGBTQ community. Her work with Gay for Good focuses on giving back to the community through volunteerism while working to change the hearts and minds of people and how they view the LGBTQ community.
“When you’re helping the homeless, when you’re working with veterans, when you’re working with kids with special needs, those letters [LGBTQ] don’t mean anything anymore. We are all one. We are all people. We are all humankind, and that’s it,” Mejia said.
After experiencing the positivity and acceptance that followed in the wake of his announcement and continued at Target Field on Monday night, Martin said, “I hope that [everyone] can continue to appreciate the people that are in this great city and the great love that people have for the LGBTQ community.”
It truly was a night of celebrating the diversity of the Twin Cities and a big step toward a more inclusive future for everyone.