Diamonds are a dyke’s best friend: Halifax Pride softball game draws thousands of fans

Kristen Lipscombe, Metro Halifax
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HALIFAX - It was more about charisma than catching, high heels than hitting, and posing than pitching Sunday afternoon for the ladies in drag.

The 10th annual Dykes vs. Divas Softball Game was held at the Halifax Common on Sunday to help kick off the opening weekend of pride celebrations throughout the city.

They fell 15-5 to the lesbians in plaid at the 10th annual Dykes vs. Divas Softball Game, held at the Halifax Common to help kick off the opening weekend of pride celebrations throughout the city.

But for both sides of the diamond, “it’s all about love today,” 23-year-old Vicki Pelley, also known as Slick Vick by teammates on the Dykes, said of playing in this year’s friendly game as part of the 27th annual Halifax Pride Festival.

“Doing something like this just proves that you can be whoever you want to be,” she said, gesturing at the diverse group of players. “This game is a riot, but it’s for such a good cause.”

This year’s free and fun-for-everyone event attracted at least a few thousand fans to the central Halifax park, the colourful crowd growing as the game went on, seeming to represent all walks of life.

Proceeds from food, drinks, donations and souvenirs are going toward the Rainbow Refugee Committee, which supports those seeking refugee protection because of persecution based on sexual orientation, gender identity or HIV status.

Dykes veteran Kelly McNeil, 31, said there’s always “amazing energy” on and off the field – even when the Divas are cheating.

“Every year, the crowd gets a littler bigger, the divas get a little sassier, the dykes get a little angrier,” said McNeil, who goes by Hunter Beaver when she’s got her ball glove on.

“It’s a great way to break down some gender binaries,” she said. “You have some amazing divas out there; they can … play really good ball, (and) they’re in heels!”

Fashionista Jones opted for running shoes, but strutted her stuff in a black crop top, tight white shorts and a hot pair of hoop earrings.

“I’m very competitive,” both in style and sport, said the 33-year-old from Cape St. George, N.L., whose “boy name” is Jade Nohels.

Teammate Madison Hart went through at least five outfits for Sunday’s game.

“This is a Betsy Johnson sparkle top,” the Kitchener, Ont., native said as though she was walking the red carpet, not waiting in the dugout. “It’s a fashion show.”

Both Divas agreed Halifax has been a welcoming community.

“There’s a lot of love and acceptance,” Fashionista said.

Organizations: Rainbow Refugee Committee

Geographic location: Kitchener

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