BY SHARON GITTLEMAN
DETROIT – If thoughts of your partner sprawled in a lounge chair screaming advice to football players on TV, beer can in hand, has frazzled your nerves this week, the Triangle Foundation has the perfect solution to your woes.
Haul your beloved down to 1515 Broadway to the GLBT Welcome Center to watch the big game – while you chat with other partners facing the same fate.
From Feb. 2 to Super Bowl Sunday, gay football fanatics and their friends are invited to gather at the theater to talk sports with locals, the media, tourists and any stray athletes that walk through the door. The Welcome Center will be open Thursday to Saturday from noon to 10 p.m. The Welcome Center will also be open on game day, though Sunday hours were not available at press time. Contact the Triangle Foundation for more information.
“It will be a hospitality center where people can come and relax,” said Triangle Foundation Executive Director Jeffrey Montgomery. “It will be for people who are in town and are looking for a safe haven while they are visiting.”
The Theater is in an ideal spot for pre- and post-game drop-ins – just two blocks from Ford Field, he said.
“It’s a venue our community can identify with and it’s very popular,” said Montgomery. “I think it would be very interesting if some of the players decided to drop by and say hello.”
Montgomery said he hopes that an athlete or two will do more than stop in for a post-game visit.
“It would be the best thing if some closeted gay football player decided to come out at our Welcome Center,” he said. “You never know.”
Montgomery said Super Bowl XL will be good news for LGBT Detroiters.
“There are thousands of people in our community who are huge football fans,” he said. “Many people are proud Detroit has the game.”
Gay tourists, journalists and others will be able to see what fun Detroit offers for LGBT visitors, he said.
“A significant number of those people in town are GLBT people,” said Montgomery. “They will patronize our businesses and spend their money in gay places – that’s good for everybody.”
Former Detroit Demons and Detroit Petticoats football player Barbara Hardison hasn’t decided whether she’ll pop in to the LGBT Welcome Center on Game Day – but she can see its charm.
“There are a lot of people who would like to get together and celebrate and holler and scream and root against the other team whether they want them to win or not,” said Hardison, a Redford resident.
When Hardison took to the field for the Demons in the mid-70s, her team geared up with leftover equipment discarded by the Detroit Lions.
Does she think the Lions deserved to play at the Super Bowl this year?
“Well,” she said, with a growl, “all I have to say is it’s a good thing Michigan and Michigan State’s football team give people something to cheer about when it comes to football.”