If the Dodgers want a war on drag, then it's a war they will get.
The Los Angeles Dodgers succumbed to pressure from conservatives to disinvite and rescind a Community Hero Award they gave to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, a charity LGBTQ organization made up of "queer and trans nuns," on their Pride Night next month. Why? Because they are cowards. It's really that simple.
The controversial decision to exclude the group has caused quite the uproar, well, everywhere. Let's backtrack to explain exactly what's happening.
Who are the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence?
According to their website, the Sisters are a group "dedicated to the promulgation of universal joy and the expiation of stigmatic guilt." They claim their ministry "is one of public manifestation and habitual perpetration" and helps "various organizations and charities." In practice, the Sisters combine performance and protest, donning drag makeup and religious costumes while performing community outreach as a means to promote diversity, human rights, and spiritual enlightenment. This "order of queer and trans nuns" has been around for decades, notably ministering to AIDS patients in the 1980s and '90s when the Catholic Church refused to do so.
While their method is provocative, the Sisters do good for their community—but that doesn't sit well with some politicians.
Why Did the Dodgers Disinvite the Sisters?
The Dodgers, who have a long history of supporting the queer community and have hosted numerous Pride Nights, were planning to host MLB's largest Pride Night when they faced the San Francisco Giants on June 16. Even the great Billie Jean King will be in attendance.
The team was set to award their "Community Hero Award" to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence when Sen. Marco Rubio sent a stern (and very stupid) letter to MLB Commissioner Rob Manfred on May 15. He argued that "drag queen performers should NOT be celebrated for their disgraceful imitation of Roman Catholic nuns." Rubio also questioned the team's commitment to inclusivity: "Do you believe that the Los Angeles Dodgers are being 'inclusive and welcoming to everyone' by giving an award to a group of gay and transgender drag performers that intentionally mocks and degrades Christians—and not only Christians, but nuns, who devote their lives to serving others?"
— Senator Marco Rubio (@SenMarcoRubio) May 15, 2023
In response to this pressure, the Dodgers disinvited the Sisters and rescinded the award in a press release Tweeted on Monday.
They say they disinvited the group because of "strong feelings of people who have been offended by the sisters' inclusion" and don't want to "distract from the great benefits" of their Pride Night.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) May 17, 2023
In their statement, the Dodgers mention wanting to highlight the "impactful work of extraordinary community groups." This is ironic, given that the Sisters of Perpetual of Indulgence have raised more than $1 million in San Francisco since 1979 while supporting AIDS organizations and other causes.
The LA Sisters responded on Instagram, saying they were "disappointed they have chosen to un-ally themselves with us in our ongoing service to the public, many of whom enjoy the Dodgers' heroic efforts in sports." They also called out "errant information" about being exclusively a trans organization; they're "queer nuns serving our people just as nuns of other cultures serve theirs."
The response from the queer community has been LOUD.
Trixie Mattel, arguably the most famous drag queen to appear on "Rupaul's Drag Race" other than Rupaul herself, tweeted the decision was "so tired b****." Other famous drag queens have chimed in on social media as well.
this is so tired bitch. https://t.co/GWQRsmstbF
— Trixie Mattel? (@trixiemattel) May 18, 2023
There's been no shortage of support for the Sisters on social media.
The Dodgers, which broke the color line in baseball in 1947 by signing Jackie Robinson, were champions of inclusion.
— ACLU SoCal (@ACLU_SoCal) May 18, 2023
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence dress like fabulous, otherworldly nuns in part to call attention to the religious trauma queer people face, & here the Dodgers are cutting them out of Pride Night in the name of placating Marco Rubio & other Catholic bigots
— People's City Council - Los Angeles (@PplsCityCouncil) May 18, 2023
The sad part of this is that drag queens (and many marginalized members of the queer community) have been targeted by states like Florida, Texas and Tennessee in bills aimed at eliminating them and their work altogether. Tennessee outright criminalized some drag performances in the state, despite past pictures of Gov. Bill Lee in drag surfacing.
Keeping children away from drag performances has been one obsession with some politicians. Meanwhile, the Catholic Church and sexually abusing children practically go hand-in-hand. The most recent instance was in Baltimore, where a report from the Maryland Attorney General's office accused the Catholic Church of sexually abusing more than 600 children over 60 years and "engaging in a years-long cover up" of it.
The hypocrisy of it all is just laughable. But, hey — if the Dodgers want to align themselves with Marco Rubio and the Catholic Church, and not with the charity group who supported AIDS organizations and does public service work, then so be it. They'll be losing fans and, more importantly, any reputation they had among the queer community.
And, for what it's worth, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence accept donations:
Apropos of nothing, the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence take donations. pic.twitter.com/adgOxT5hhs
— Tavi (@szn_baseball) May 17, 2023
Want More Sports News?
Get the biggest and best sports news sent directly to your inbox.