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Happy 100th Wrigley Field: Cubs remain good neighbors to nearby LGBT community

Apr. 23, 2014 - , Wrigley Field, the longtime home to the Chicago Cubs, is now a century old. The first game ever played in the historic venue took place on April 23, 1914.

Located on Chicago's North Side, Wrigley Field and the Wrigleyville neighborhood border Boystown, the city's gay neighborhood. LGBT sports historian Bill Gubrud told ChicagoPride.com that the Chicago Cubs and their fans have always been good neighbors.

"Wrigley Field is the most welcoming place to the LGBT community anywhere in the country," said Gubrud, who is executive director of the National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame (NGLSHF).

The Chicago Cubs' rich history with the LGBT community earned them a place in the Chicago-based NGLSHF. The organization was inducted into the Hall of Fame last year during a ceremony at Center on Halsted.

This year, the Cubs will again welcome gay and lesbian fans to the Friendly Confines as part of Out at Wrigley, the largest LGBT-attended major league sports event in the country. It's the 14th year for the annual event, that includes a performance of the national anthem and ceremonial first pitch by members of the LGBT community. Last year the Cubs raised two gay Pride flags above the upper deck in honor of their special guests. Out at Wrigley, created and organized by Gubrud, returns July 12, 2014. (Tickets and information at www.outatwrigley.com)

In 2009, the Chicago Cubs became the first Major League Baseball team to have an openly gay owner when the Ricketts family took over ownership of the Cubs from the Tribune Company. Laura Ricketts, a prominent lesbian, is part of the active family management. 

Under the Ricketts family, the Cubs made the bold decision to enlist "Mr. Cub" Ernie Banks to represent the team at the annual Chicago Pride Parade in 2010. The team has participated in the parade each year since.

"Many of our brothers and sisters in our community work at Wrigley Field and I've had the privilege of meeting some of them on the Cubs float every year," Gubrud added.

In 2011, the Cubs became one of the first MLB teams to release a pro-gay "It Gets Better" video.

"Happy Birthday Wrigley Field," said Gubrud. "You've been a good friend and neighbor."

Editor's Note: ChicagoPride.com, part of the GoPride Network, is a proud sponsor of Out at Wrigley (July 12, 2014 - www.outatwrigely.com) and the National Gay & Lesbian Sports Hall of Fame (July 11, 2014 - gayandlesbiansports.com)

Matt Bomer reveals he and Simon Halls married in 2011
Apr. 23, 2014 - , Matt Bomer publicly acknowledge he's gay in 2012. Now the 36-year-old actor tells fashion glossy Details magazine that he married Simon Halls, a publicist with Slate PR, a year earlier.

Bomer first acknowledged the relationship – and his sexual orientation – while accepting an award at the Desert AIDS Project's Steve Chase Humanitarian Awards in Palm Spring, where he thanked Halls and their three children.

"I'd really especially like to thank my beautiful family: Simon, Kit, Walker, Henry. Thank you for teaching me what unconditional love is. You will always be my proudest accomplishment," he said in 2012.

In the upcoming HBO film The Normal Heart, director Ryan Murphy's film adaptation of Larry Kramer's Tony-winning play, Bomer plays Felix, a gay man dying of AIDS during the early days of the pandemic in New York City.

"I wouldn't have a lot of the rights I have today if it wasn't for people like Larry [Kramer]," Bomer told Details.

(Related: HBO releases full trailer for AIDS drama Normal Heart.)

Taste of Chicago 2014 music lineup includes AWOLNATION and more
Apr. 21, 2014 - , Electronic rock band AWOLNATION will headline the Petrillo Music Shell on Wednesday, July 9 to kick off the 34th annual Taste of Chicago.

The complete concert lineup was released by Mayor Rahm Emanuel's office Monday. 

On July 9, The alternative rock band Saints of Valory from Austin, Texas is set to open for AWOLNATION.

On July 10, award-winning songwriter, performer and producer Janelle Monae will play, and Gary Clark Jr. will open for her.

Twelve-time Grammy-winners Emmylou Harris and Nickel Creek will play the Petrillo stage July 11 along with folk/gospel performer Parker Millsap.

On July 12, Wilco's Jeff Tweedy will headline. The Chicago-native is known as the founder and leader of Wilco, but often tours as a solo artist.

Aloe Blacc will bring his DJ Avicii-remixed hit "Wake Me Up" Sunday, July 13. The day will also include reggae act the Wailers. 

The 2014 Taste of Chicago will take place in Grant Park July 9-13.

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