Letter to the editor: Grateful to live here

Published 12:00 am Thursday, June 23, 2022

I am grateful to live in an area where sports teams, such as the Kannapolis Cannon Ballers, recognize the value of hosting a Pride Night to counter decades of homophobia in athletics and popular culture.  I can’t wait to bring my kids (and my dog — it’s Bark at the Park night, too!) to Atrium Health Ballpark on July 6 at 7 p.m. to cheer on Salisbury’s amazing Mayor Pro Tem Tamara Sheffield as she throws out the game’s first pitch. We are already huge fans of the park’s new playground and splashpad, and it will be nice to know that homophobic season ticketholders won’t be there to steal all the glitter and good vibes.

 I encourage everyone to grab tickets and support this, the Cannon Ballers’ First Pride night. It was less than 50 years ago Glenn Burke (possible inventor of the “high-five”?) was traded by the L.A. Dodgers after coming out, and it was less than 25 years ago that Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered in Colorado; Shepard, a gay college student, was killed by individuals later convicted of committing a hate crime after they tortured his broken body and left him for dead by the side of a road.

 Cannon Baller Pride Night will be a wonderful event to showcase how our community is slowly but surely marching toward a day when Fannie Lou Hamer’s statement can be relegated to history books — “Nobody’s free until everybody’s free.” And don’t forget to visit Salisbury Pride in the Bell Tower Green on Saturday, June 25 from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m.  There will be a drag queen store hour and my bookstore, South Main Book Company, will staff a booth to hand out hundreds of free books to kids and adults that promote the diversity and tolerance I want to thrive here.

— Alissa Redmond