Giffords Intern Celebrates Gay Night at Nats Park

By Winston Gieseke

Originally published on Advocate.com June 22 2011 6:15 PM ET

Daniel Hernandez, who made news in January as the intern who saved Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’s life, helped kick off an annual gay event in Washington, D.C., by throwing the first pitch at Tuesday’s Washington Nationals game.

Representing the gay community, Hernandez celebrated Team D.C.'s Night Out at the Nationals, alongside John Berry, director of the United States Office of Personnel Management; Amanda Simpson, the first openly transgender presidential appointee; GLSEN's Pat Griffin; the Gay Men's Chorus of Washington; and the D.C. Different Drummers.

“This is probably the most nerve-racking thing I've done in a while,” Hernandez said of the pitch, which capped off an incredible journey from intern to national hero. “This is gonna go away soon. And I think realizing that, and doing what you can to help others is the important part.”

Team D.C. is a charitable organization established to educate the LGBT community on the benefits of individual and team sports participation. The seventh annual Night Out event, which concluded with the Nationals beating the Seattle Mariners 6-5, drew an estimated 3,400 spectators, making it one of the biggest pro-gay sporting events in the country.