Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Taylor Campione and Kelsi Culpepper, two lesbian women, have always felt at home in Minneapolis. While celebrating Campione’s birthday at a Twins game, the couple was served a harsh reminder that not everyone is comfortable with their relationship.

The women were confronted by a Target Field security guard after they exchanged what Campione called a brief kiss. The guard scolded the women saying, “we don’t play grab-ass in here” and to “adhere to the Ten Commandments” while at the stadium, Campione recalled.

They spoke to the security guard’s manager and Campione said they were unsatisfied with how the manager handled the situation. The couple turned to the media to tell their story.

Taylor Campione and Kelsi Culpepper. Photo by Taylor Campione

“We wanted people to know that this is a messed up situation.” Campione explained. “I just want these attitudes to change. I want to be able to go out with my girlfriend.”

The women have gotten many positive responses since the confrontation was first reported. They have received support via e-mail, Facebook messages, and phone calls from individuals and organizations, commending them on their effort to face intolerance head-on.

“The feedback has been very good and encouraging,” Culpepper noted.

Although the incident was upsetting, the women explained, they hope this will help others come forward when they are discriminated against.

”People need to know that this stuff happens,” Culpepper emphasized. “You need to speak up because the more people that speak up, the more people we have to make change and fight for acceptance.”

“I would encourage anyone to do what we did,” Campione added.

The couple considered filing a complaint with the Minnesota Department of Human Rights, but decided against it after the Twins responded effectively to the situation, according to Campione.

“I think they have done a good job with it,” Campione explained. “I don’t care to pursue anything else.”

Twins administrators met with the women June 22 to discuss the encounter and what could be done to prevent similar incidences, Campione said. The administrators apologized several times and offered tickets to make up for the night that she said was ruined by the guard’s remarks.

“I could tell that their good intentions were there, for sure,” Culpepper clarified. “We left with a good feeling.”

Campione said she urged the Twins to do a video for the “It Gets Better” Project. She mentioned Lavender’s Out in the Stands event hosted by Target Field and said she hopes the Twins will continue to be leaders in the community.

“We want the Twins to continue to be something that people look up to and aspire to be like,” Campione elaborated.

The confrontation happened during the Angels-Twins game May 27. The security guard was reprimanded, but continues to work at Target Field.

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