Delhi Skirt Game: Officials want to change softball game in drag – The Cincinnati Enquirer

Sherri DeMoss has a box of pictures in her home. Pictures of fathers and sons and grandfathers. She talks about these pictures like they’re family heirlooms, even though her father isn’t in any of them. 
The pictures depict men dressed up as Cruella de Vil, Wonder Woman and Cher. The pictures show these men playing softball. But to DeMoss, these pictures aren’t about men dressing up as women. They’re about a community on Cincinnati’s West Side coming together every year for 45 years now to raise money for charity.
When DeMoss looks at those pictures, four decades worth of pictures, she thinks about the people they’ve helped. The beds they’ve bought for children with nowhere to sleep, the handrails they’ve helped fund for elderly residents who have fallen. 
When she looks at these pictures today, she can’t help but wonder if there will be any taken this year.  
The Delhi Skirt Game began in 1978. It was a beer league softball game where the loser dressed up in women’s clothes to raise money for a young child hurt in a bicycle accident. The first game raised $2,500. 
Since 1992, game officials say they’ve raised more than $1 million. 
The event has become synonymous with Delhi Township, a largely Republican community of about 30,000 people. Each year, township officials authorize a contract with the Delhi Skirt Game Committee. On Tuesday, officials said they have not started contract negotiations yet this year but have talked about “evolving” the game.
Specifically, whether men should continue dressing up as women. 
“What had long been considered a fun component of the evening has been igniting discussions from residents, event sponsors and other supporters for years for being offensive and insensitive,” officials wrote in an open letter to the community.
“This event is meaningful to this community, and we want it to thrive. But to do that, we want to see it evolve.”
None of the township trustees immediately responded to email requests for interviews. They meet tonight for their regular trustee meeting. Their letter continued:
“To say it’s all for naught if men playing in this softball game can’t dress as women for the evening is completely devaluing the fundraising endeavor and all it stands for.”
DeMoss is on the Skirt Game Committee’s board of directors. She’s been involved for 14 years and used to be its president. She grew up in small-town Indiana, but she has lived in Delhi for 20 years and now lives across the street from the park where it takes place. 
“Change is inevitable,” she said. “I’m here to make sure it survives. That’s the bottom line for me.”
‘We’re not making fun of anyone.’
DeMoss says she wasn’t surprised by the township’s letter, but said her committee is trying to get clarification on what exactly they mean. She acknowledged her group will likely have to modify the Skirt Game or it will go away.
About six or seven years ago, the committee in charge of the game decided to limit the theme to fictional characters – instead of media personalities or other celebrities. 
“We never want to offend anyone,” she said. 
Over the years, DeMoss said a few people have complained about the game. She said she is open to dialogue about issues anyone might have.
“We’ll listen to anybody,” she said. 
DeMoss says she hopes to have more clarity by the end of the week. Delhi Township trustees were to meet Wednesday night, and the Delhi Skirt Game Committee is scheduled to meet on Thursday.
“We’re not making fun of anyone,” she said. “The Skirt Game is about helping our community.”

source

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.