How A Gay Anthem Became America's Favorite Ballpark Sing-A-Long

Illustration for article titled How A Gay Anthem Became America's Favorite Ballpark Sing-A-Long

Ever wonder how "YMCA" — a song that's about anonymous gay sex, after all — became such a big hit at our nation's ballparks? Well, wonder no longer: Jeff Pearlman, writing in Spin, has your answer in a "YMCA" oral history. (So to speak.)


It's an incredibly entertaining piece, particularly when Pearlman talks to stadium music directors who have no idea it was ever a gay song. Our favorite comes from Wally the Warthog, the mascot for the Winston-Salem Warthogs.

I'm the only mascot I know who does the whole Y-M-C-A hand gesture thing while standing on his head. As soon as the first beats come out of the speakers, everyone in the stands is asking, "Where's Wally? Where's that wild Wally?" Not sure what you mean about it being a gay song.... I know the Y is a healthy place

We hope Wally the Warthog has not lost any of his enthusiasm now that the veil has been pulled off. We'd think it would make the dancing more fun.

"YMCA:" A Oral History [Spin]

(Full Disclosure: We originally worked on this piece for Spin, but the deadline coincided with the book tour, and we couldn't finish it. Pearlman did so much better than we would have.)