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Former Padres player, now out, to join San Diego Pride for Out at the Park event

SAN DIEGO – San Diego LGBT Pride's annual Out at the Park event and Tailgate Party later this month will include a guest appearance and remarks by former Padres player Billy Bean, who publicly came out as gay after his retirement from Major League Baseball.

Out at the Park will take place Saturday, April 27, at Petco Park in downtown San Diego. The Padres will be hosting division rival San Francisco Giants.

“It’s important that we at Pride continue to create safe spaces for the LGBT community to come together. Sporting events have a history of not being very LGBT inclusive, and we’ve set out to help change that,” said Stephen Whitburn, Pride’s interim general manager.

“We’re honored to be able to bring in a gay role model and former professional athlete like Billy Bean with the hopes it will encourage other athletes to come out.”

Bean said he looks forward to the event and reflects on what it might have been like to play alongside other players who were out.

"I keep thinking that if there is a gay player in either one of the dugouts that night, and if they see me, how it might affect them? If I had seen a former player, walk on a major league field, who was openly gay, while I was playing, I know that I would've never quit," Bean said.

Pride’s Tailgate Party will return this year, beginning at 2:30 pm with food, drinks and remarks by Bean. The game begins at 5:40 pm and a section of the stadium will be reserved for the Out at the Park group.

Tickets are available online HERE.

Founded in 1974, San Diego LGBT is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose mission is: Fostering pride in and respect for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender communities, locally, nationally, and globally. www.sdpride.org