Billy Bean is the ambassador for inclusion for Major League Baseball. He played parts of six seasons from 1987-95 for the Tigers, Dodgers and Padres.
|A message of inclusion and acceptance of all nationalities, cultures and ethnicities was conveyed at the first Sport at the Service of Humanity Conference at the Vatican.
|Monday represented a banner day for baseball and the LGBT movement.
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|Last week my phone rang, and on the other end of the line was a young man named Spenser Clark. He introduced himself, and quickly shared that he is a senior at Howard University who has been employed by the Nationals as a batboy for the last two years. He also told me he is gay.
|About five months ago, I received a text message from a young man who wrote that he was a player in the Milwaukee Brewers' Minor League system. The message was polite and brief, simply asking if I would be willing to call him back. When we spoke, it was clear he was a little nervous. He asked me a few questions about my job, made a little small talk about the upcoming season and then he said something I'll never forget. He said, "Billy, we are the same."
|In the midst of all the action over All-Star Week, I got a text that read, "Hey Billy, Happy Anniversary!" I'd forgotten it was only a year ago that Commissioner Emeritus, Bud Selig, announced my return to baseball at the 2014 All-Star Game in Minnesota as MLB's Ambassador of Inclusion.
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|For anyone in the LGBT community, the journey toward marriage equality has been filled with some highs, but mostly lows. One state would pass its support of same-sex marriage, and then another would take those rights away. The angry arguments on TV interpreting religious beliefs were always disappointing and confusing for a community that was only looking to make a commitment in the eyes of the law. It was an emotional tug of war that would seemingly never end. On Friday morning, it finally did.