Windy City Media Group Frontpage News Home
CELEBRATING 28+ YEARS OF Lesbian Gay Bisexual and Transgender NEWS

Search Gay News Articles
Advanced Search
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2014-12-17
Download Issue
  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime

Sponsor
March, vigil stress that sex workers' lives matter, too March, vigil stress that sex workers' lives matter, too
Sex workers and their allies gathered to celebrate life and remember lives ...

Browse Gay News Index   Browse Gay News Archives
  Windy City Times    Download PDF Issue

CHICAGO HUMANITIES FESTIVAL Lesbian tennis icon Navratilova on life's hurdles, Olympics
by Gretchen Rachel Blickensderfer
2013-11-13

facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email


Martina Navratilova has spent a life fighting and winning battles. On the tennis court, a career that spanned more than three decades netted her 59 Grand Slam titles and nine women's singles title on the grass at Wimbledon. In her personal life, she faced leaving her family in Czechoslovakia at a young age, overcoming breast cancer and coming out as a lesbian.

On Nov. 9, Navratilova talked candidly about the changes and adaptations she had to make personally, physically and professionally in order to keep coming away with match point. Her interview, in front of a live audience, was a part of the Chicago Humanities Festival at the UIC Forum.

Navratilova left Communist-controlled Czechoslovakia in 1975 at 18. She wanted to play in the U.S. Open. "Just to get out of the country, you had to get permission from the interior ministry," she remembered. "They [The Czech Tennis Federation] said 'no' but I was independent, and a trouble maker and defiant." Navratilova left without permission. While she was excited about the freedom to play tennis whenever and wherever she wanted, she knew she could not go back and see her family without facing jail time. It was years before she saw them again.

In 1981, her career was flourishing and she had a lover, basketball star Nancy Lieberman. It was also the year that Navratilova came out as a lesbian. "Male reporters wouldn't ask a male player if he was gay," she recalled. "But it was certainly OK to ask women players. The press put more and more pressure [on me]."

Fear of being disqualified from U.S. citizenship, along with a scandal that outed Billie Jean King and cost all of her endorsements, had kept Navratilova in the closet. Two days after she received her U.S. passport, a New York Daily News Reporter asked her if she was a lesbian, but Navratilova still refused to talk to him, citing the WTA's ( Women's Tennis Association's ) advice that she could lose her sponsorships. "And the next day it's in the paper," she said. "'Martina can't come out because…..!'"

Navratilova acknowledged that, in 32 years, times have changed in the United States. "You were ostracized once for being out, now you're ostracized for being a homophobe," she said. "It's ironic. People are in the closet about being anti-gay."

However, regarding the effects of the Russian anti-gay legislation on athletes competing in the 2014 winter Olympics in Sochi, Navratilova believes the International Olympic Committee has taken a backward stance. "They're certainly not supporting their gay athletes and, to me, if you don't support a gay athlete, you're not supporting any athlete," she said. "I think there should be a lot of kissing going on. The athletes need to be safe about being able to speak."

Navratilova's partner is Russian and she wondered whether they would ever be able to visit with their two children. But, as with every challenge she has faced in life, Navratilova has stayed positive. "Tennis is the epitome of that," she said. "You lose a point and you've got to get over it. I always say attitude is a choice. You can either be miserable or you say, 'This is really tough, but this is what I'm going to do about it.'"

Read an interview with Martina Navratilova at www.windycitymediagroup.com/lgbt/Tennis-icon-Navratilova-talks-Chicago-career-Czech-food-/45090.html .


facebook twitter pin it del.icio.us stumble upon digg google +1 reddit email




Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily
agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here.
Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you
stay on this page, the more you help us.

Affinity kicks off 20 year celebration with Burning Bowl 2014-12-21
Lesbian police officer sues city of Markham 2014-12-20
Santiago's spouse among those included in settlement 2014-12-19
Christine Bland named 2014 LGBT engineer of the year 2014-12-17
Life might be getting better for LGBT steelworkers 2014-12-17
Top world LGBT stories of 2014 2014-12-17
NUNN ON ONE: THEATER Lesbian actress Beth Glover gets evil in 'Cinderella' 2014-12-17
Knight at the Movies: The Hobbit; The Babadook; film notes 2014-12-17
Dale Scott first gay, active major league baseball umpire 2014-12-11
Women & Children First to host Sarah Ruhl 2014-12-11
Michael Sam documentary to air on OWN Dec. 27 2014-12-11
Robbie Rogers' wild ride, new book, 'Coming Out to Play' 2014-12-10
IOC makes another step toward inclusion 2014-12-09
NCLR welcomes IOC's sexual orientation nondiscrimination 2014-12-09
Rivendell's Women at War talkback focuses on DADT 2014-12-07
Recording project aims to amplify LGBT musicians 2014-12-05
Olympic Charter could be amended to protect for orientation, identity 2014-12-03
Michelle Chamuel: On 'The Voice,' career advice 2014-12-03
Rita Mae Brown on new book, coming out and 'Rubyfruit Jungle' 2014-12-03
Sport events coming up: OUT! Bowling; Santa in Speedos 2014-12-03
Lesbian partners open art gallery/cafe in Kenwood 2014-12-03
MLB umpire comes out as gay 2014-12-02
'Rubyfruit' Author Rita Mae Brown in Chicago Dec. 9 2014-11-26
UIC center celebrates two decades of existence 2014-11-24
National Women's Hall of Fame hosts forum on equality 2014-11-24
World news: Malaysian insurer; Ian Thorpe's shame; Nepal survey 2014-11-24
The Voice's Michelle Chamuel to play Lincoln Hall 2014-11-24
Michael Sam on coming out, his childhood, being at bottom 2014-11-21
2016 Bingham Cup heads to Nashville, not Chicago 2014-11-20
Jason Collins to retire from NBA 2014-11-19
LGBT sports airing through live Web streaming network 2014-11-19
OUT! Bowling in Naperville through Dec. 18; Sports news 2014-11-19
Veteran killed; Perry disrupted; Collins honored 2014-11-19
LETTER Lesbian and Gay Bar Association Pres to Gov.-elect Rauner 2014-11-17
PASSAGES Trans lesbian author Leslie Feinberg dies 2014-11-17
Lakeside Pride, Lea DeLaria and Artemis celebrate Women In Music 2014-11-17
Roosevelt U. hosts Equality vs. Liberation forum 2014-11-15
Artemis Singers to present "Loves Lost, Loves Found" in 2015 2014-11-15
Chicago Gay and Lesbian Hall of Fame honors new inductees 2014-11-13
BUSINESS Calif. clothiers for masculine-identified opens pop-up store 2014-11-12





Copyright © 2014 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 

No SCOTUS stay, same-sex marriages to begin in Florida Jan. 6
 
Myles Brady: Howard Brown's first transgender outreach coordinator
 
National: LGBT bill in Congress; trans soldiers; blood ban
 
March, vigil stress that sex workers' lives matter, too
 
TRAVEL Adults-only spots in Cancun
 
Windy City Times Current DownloadNightspots Current DownloadQueercast Current Download
Windy City Media Group BlogsJoin Our Email List!Donate Now
Sponsor


Sponsor

  News Index   About WCMG    Publications    Bars & Clubs     Calendar   Videos   Advertisers    OUT! Guide    Classifieds     AIDS @ 32       Marriage
 Local | National | World | Politics | Obits | Profiles | Views | Entertainment | Theater | Dance | Music | Film | Art | Books | TV/Gossip
 Travel | History | Marriage | Youth | Trans | Lesbian | Celebrations | Food | Nightlife | Sports | Health | Real Estate | Autos | Pets | Crime



About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video      News Videos      Nightspots Videos      Entertainment Videos      Queercast Videos      Comedy Videos     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.