Portland, July 26th, 2015. Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) hosted the fourth annual “Bat ‘n Rouge” softball tournament and the names of the teams had a real TV tone: The Golden Girls, Baywatch, Orange is the New Black, and The Big Bang Theory! The ceremonial first pitch was thrown by Aydian Dowling, (on the right) one of most prominent faces in the trans visibility movement. The family-friendly tournament featured drag queens, music, and general hilarity at Erv Lind Stadium in Normandale Park. Bat ‘n Rouge raises funds to help those impacted by HIV/AIDS.
Aydian is From Eugene and was a recent contender for the cover of Men’s Health magazine. He was also recently featured on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. (More about his story below)
The Orange is the New Black batter faced off with one of the umpires.
The “Bat ‘n Rouge” softball tournament was hosted by Portland drag legends Carla Rossi and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence were cheerleaders. The tournament is the vehicle though the fun is anticipated to come from the good-natured spectacle of the characters, peppered with comedic relief and spicy banter. The goal was to raise $20,000.
The Bay Watch team has a great time on the field.
About Aydian Dowling from Men’s Health:
Nearly 1,000 men entered this year’s Ultimate Men’s Health Guy Search, all with a story of personal transformation to share. But Aydian Dowling, one of the 10 semifinalists in the contest, has a transformation tale that’s a bit unlike any other contestant’s.
Event leader, Andrew Shayde posed with Aydian Dowling, calling him a cool cat on instagram.
The 28-year-old from Eugene, Oregon is vying to become the first transgender man to be on the cover of Men’s Health—a feat that would have seemed unthinkable 25, 10, and even 2 years ago. But in 2015, Caitlyn Jenner has undergone a male-to-female transition, Amazon’s trans-centric series Transparent is the reigning Golden Globes winner for best comedy, and trans actors have prominent roles in major movies and TV shows, like Laverne Cox in Orange Is the New Black.
Dowling, who won the readers’ voting portion of the Ultimate Guy contest and its reserved spot in the top 10, is hoping to make a similar wave. “Having a trans person on the cover would tell people that no matter who you are, you can be the man you want to be,” he says. “It’s fully possible if you put the time and effort and balance it takes to find the man in you.” (Want to know who else made the cut? Meet the Top 10 Ultimate Men’s Health Guys.)
It took 21 years for Dowling to find that man. Dowling was born female, and says “there were definitely signs” that he identified as male at an early age. “I just wanted to act a certain way,” he says, “but I was told that was not how girls act.”
At 13, Dowling developed a crush on a girl, and at 16, had come out as a lesbian to friends and family. By 21, he was dressing in masculine clothes, but it wasn’t until his then-girlfriend asked the pivotal question—“Have you ever wanted to be a boy?”—that Dowling gave any thought to being transgender. – Men’s Health
Portland, August 4th, 2013. “Barbies” and “Gym Bunnies” slugged it out to raise over $14,000 at the Bat ‘n Rouge. The humorously competitive softball tournament raised funds for the Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund and Camp KC, a fun and safe summer camp for local kids affected or infected with HIV/AIDS. It’s a program of Cascade AIDS Project. This is the second year of the event.
The Barbies raised the most money. Organizers had the perfect description of the team, “Decked out in all of Barbie’s accessories, they’ll hit a home run AND be home in time to cook Ken dinner.”
The Biker Chicks were a popular group and made it to the finals of the Bat ‘n Rouge. Explained organizers, “This team is ready to play ball and possibly repair your car.”
Female impersonators Monica Boulevard and Poison Waters
The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence served as umpires for the Bat ‘n Rouge
The Gym Bunnies were a crowd favorite.
Event Organizers Bekah Telew and Andrew Shayde
Sara McCrimmon and Erin Northrup from Camp KC
The Gay Nerds started reading in the infield during the game between the Barbies and the Biker Chicks.
In the end, the Barbies in heels took the top honors by raising more money then the other three teams: the Gym Bunnies, the Nerds, and the Biker Chicks.
About Camp KC:
Camp KC (Kids Connection), is Cascade AIDS Project’s lakeside summer camp for HIV/AIDS affected children in the age range of 5-14. The one week camp experience is a unique component of our yearlong program for children and families, Kids Connection. Campers enjoy arts &crafts, swimming, canoeing, music and more all while in the supportive community of trained and dedicated volunteers.
About the Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund: Audria was a gay rights activist, a devoted mother of six (four of whom were GLBT), and the second president of the Portland Chapter of Parents & Friends of Lesbians and Gays (P-Flag). In the fall of 1987, Audria M. Edwards passed away. The following spring, her children established the Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund in tribute to Audria’s passion for continued education. Today, it is administered by Peacock Productions, Inc.; an organization funded by donations, the proceeds of variety shows and community fundraisers. Those eligible for the scholarship are Oregon residents of one year, who are seeking post-secondary, or under-graduate education in an accredited institution, and are lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender, or have a LGBT parent.
Portland, August 8th. The Beach Boy grabbed Marilyn’s wig and ran! It was all part of Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) and Peacock Productions first ever Bat ‘n Rouge softball tournament featuring drag queens, music, and general hilarity at Lillis-Albina Park. The benefit raised $10,600 to send HIV infected and affected kids to Camp Starlight and build scholarships for the Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund.
Portland’s legendary Entertainer, Darcelle threw out the first pitch.
The Queen of Drag, Darcelle XV, added, “How could the Queen of Portland not be at an event like this? It marries all the things I love: Camp Starlight, LGBT Youth and Higher Education, drag performance, and hot men. I’m delighted to attend the first Bat ‘n Rouge event.”
The Ambiguously Gay Super Heroes (with tights and capes) were the winners of the event!
The exhibition tournament featured a team of drag queens, each dressed as Marilyn Monroe, as well as a three other archetypal LGBT groups, including: Beach Boys (yes, men in speedos); Ambiguously Gay Super Heroes (with tights and capes); Construction Lesbians (with hard hats and caution vests). Photo credit, Roger.
2nd Place went to The Marilyn Monroes (Drag Queens) who took the field in heels! (Photo credit, Roger)
The benefit softball game attracted spectators of all ages. (Photo Credit, Garbero Photography)
There was a tie for third place between The Construction Lesbians and The Beach Boys!
Portland’s own local comedians, Whitney Streed and Xander Deveaux, offered color commentary while CC Slaughter’s resident DJ, DJ Slutsky spinned tunes.
The Cascade AIDS Project annual AIDS Walk Portland is coming up on Sunday, September 23rd.
About Cascade AIDS Project Incorporated in 1985, Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) is the oldest and largest AIDS Service Organization in Oregon and Southwest Washington. Our mission is to prevent HIV infections, support and empower people affected and infected by HIV/AIDS, and eliminate HIV/AIDS-related stigma. With a staff of 50, and a volunteer corps that includes over 700 individuals providing more than 21,000 hours of service each year, CAP manages a diverse array of programs and an annual budget of $4.6 million. Fifteen percent of CAP’s staff are individuals living with HIV, 25% identify from communities of color, and 30% are bilingual. Our programs serve the broad and diverse set of communities impacted by HIV, from community-specific programs focused on teens, Latinos, the gay community, individuals and families living with HIV, to the thousands of individuals throughout the state who seek education though our AIDS/STD hotline each year. A committed 18-member volunteer Board of Directors provides strategic guidance and oversight to ensure CAP accomplishes its mission and continues to operate with integrity and transparency. www.cascadeaids.org. About Peacock Productions, Inc.
Established in 1999, Peacock Productions, Inc. (PPI) is a 501c3 non-profit corporation whose mission is to enhance the quality of life of members and allies of the LGBTQ community by offering entertainment, providing scholarships, and networking to celebrate diversity and build equality. PPI administers the Audria M. Edwards Scholarship Fund which was founded by Lady Elaine Peacock and Misty Waters, in honor of their Mother in 1988. To date, the AME Fund has granted more than $182,000 to LGBT students and/or the students of LGBT parents throughout Oregon and Southwest Washington. To find out more about Peacock Productions, Inc., visit www.peacockafterdark.com.
NONPROFIT BENEFIT TICKET GIVEAWAYS!
Sign up for our free weekly highlights for the chance to win two tickets terrific nonprofit events! If you "like" us on facebook, or sign up for our weekly news highlights, you'll be entered to win! Sign up today!
Look for another ticket giveaway soon! Are you a nonprofit looking to bolster your publicity with facebook and tweets? Email us and we'll run a contest with tickets to your event! [email protected]