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US Open Celebrates LGBTQ Pride

By Charlotte Robinson, August 31, 2019
The US Open tennis tournament has always been an LGBTQ inspiration since champions like Billie Jean King & Martina Navratilova took center court & won their titles. In 1983 I produced the theme music for CBS Sports coverage of the US Open with a talented composer Sharon Stone who was also lesbian which was the first year Martina won the US Open. Now decades later in front of a packed house at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center US Open Pride arrived with 'Love All: An Open Conversation" hosted by sports commentator & journalist Nick McCarvel bringing together seven athletes from four sports genres with over four decades of stories to tell about their lives as athletes & members of the LGBTQ+ community. The panel consisted of tennis legend & WTA co-founder Billie Jean King (who was also a Grand Marshal of the Stonewall 50th NYC Pride Parade), former NBA player Jason Collins, former MLB player Billy Bean, former ATP player Brian Vahaly, Olympic figure skating medalist Adam Rippon & active WTA players & partners Greet Minnen & Alison van Uytvanck from Belgium. The group reflected on a host of topics centered around LGBTQ+ participation in sports, including their own coming-out stories & their hopes for future generations. Thankfully we’ve come a long way since Billie Jean King lost all her sponsorships & what she went through in her coming out process but unfortunately we still have a long way to go.
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