Lady Camden

The Washington Nationals’ Pride Night had everything: racing presidents, rainbow flags and Lady Camden!

The Nationals threw their annual Pride Night Tuesday, becoming the fourth MLB team this season to host the increasingly controversial event. Heading into June, opportunistic Republican politicians–namely Marco Rubio and Mike Pence–complained about the Los Angeles Dodgers inviting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence to their affair.

The invitation also sparked misguided outrage from several MLB players, including star Dodgers hurler Clayton Kershaw and right-hander Blake Treinen.

The Dodgers’ backlash came on the heels of the NHL Pride Night debacles, in which multiple players refused to wear rainbow warmup jerseys.

With that in mind, it was fair to wonder how far MLB teams would push their Pride Night celebrations. But the Nationals answered the call.

First, during the nightly presidential bicycle race–George Washington, Thomas Jefferson, Abe Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt competed–all four bikes were outfitted with Pride flags. “They’re multi-colored for Pride month!,” said the announcer with exuberance.

That is a strong patriotic statement, even if it came in mascot form. Those are four of the most consequential presidents in history, after all.

In fact, we actually have some evidence that Washington was relaxed on gay rights, at least in comparison to his fellow elites. As the Philadelphia Gay News once outlined, Washington seemingly enjoyed the company of men more than wife, and disliked marital life.

In one letter, Washington said there was “not much fire in the streets” between he and his wife, Martha Custis. The couple didn’t have children of their own.

Washington also forged a deep relationship with Alexander Hamilton, whom he made his personal secretary.

There is at least one recorded incident that shows how Washington dealt with homosexuality, which could be punishable by death in the colonies. When a solider was caught sodomizing another solider at Valley Forge, Washington signed his order of discharge, but didn’t issue further punishment. The solider wasn’t imprisoned or castrated. He just walked away.

Fast-forward 245 years, and Washington’s mascot witnessed a small piece of gay baseball history in the nation’s capital. Lady Camden, the Season 14 runner-up of RuPaul’s Drag Race, performed the first split in Nationals Park history! (She was out of drag, but nonetheless…)

Lady Camden, of course, rose to prominence on Ru with a legendary bait-and-switch runway moment. She appeared to trip during one of her struts, only to reappear with the Freddie Mercury-like mustache!

The judges were gagggging.

And yes, that stash has meaning.

“Before I got the call to go on Drag Race, I had this weird feeling that I needed to focus on drag,” she told Entertainment Weekly in 2022. “I was working three jobs, and I remember quitting my restaurant job. I left at night and walked through Sacramento, it started raining and I was listening to music on my phone. Queen’s “I Want to Break Free” came on, and it was this weird movie moment where I was like, maybe the universe is telling me that I’m doing my thing right now. It was so cheesy and corny, but I felt like I had to do something with it.”

Though Lady Camden hails from the U.K. and lives in Sacramento, her drag name has a Mid-Atlantic tie-in. “[I named myself] Lady Camden because sometimes I like to- you know, be regal, refined, from the ballet world and then sometimes I’m just trash from Camden,” she once said.

While Camden is a famous borough in London, the Baltimore Orioles’ ballpark is also called “Camden Yards.” There you go!

Given the backlash over the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, it was noteworthy for the Nationals to invite one of the country’s most well-known queens to their Pride event. When it comes to supporting LGBTQ+ people during Pride, the Nationals hit the ball out of the park.

Scroll down for more reaction to a successful Pride Night in the capital…

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