Billie Jean King backs calls to rename Margaret Court Arena

By : wire report
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MELBOURNE, Australia (AP) — Billie Jean King thinks one of the main venues at the Australian Open should be renamed because of Margaret Court’s comments about the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community.

King, a trailblazer for equality and diversity in tennis, said she had initially been a proponent of having Margaret Court Arena named in 2003 in recognition of the 24-time Grand Slam singles winner’s contribution to the sport.

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No LGBTQ role or film winners at 75th Golden Globes, despite multiple nominations

By : Rebekah Sager OF THE WASHINGTON BLADE, COURTESY OF THE NATIONAL LGBT MEDIA ASSOCIATION
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ABOVE: Start of the 75th Golden Globes live from the Beverly Hilton Jan. 7, 2018.

The 75th anniversary Golden Globes featured Hollywood actors donning all-black gowns and suits, and wearing #TimesUp pins in support in of those who have spoken out about sexual harassment and to protest gender inequality. It was a hugely important night celebrating women and women’s stories.

But many in the LGBTQ community were left puzzled by the lack of representation among the acting, directing and screenwriting category nominees and winners, even though #TimesUp resonates against homophobia too.

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‘Battle of the Sexes’ looks at tennis legend Billie Jean King’s struggle with her sexuality, women’s rights

By : Melissa Murphy of the Associated Press
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She won a Wimbledon doubles title at 17 and married Larry King in 1965 while both were students at California State University, Los Angeles. He studied law and played tennis on a scholarship. Billie Jean studied history and worked two jobs because she had no scholarship, which her husband noted made her a “second-class citizen.”

That epiphany led King to social activism on and off the court. She and eight other women eventually put their careers on the line in 1970 to start the Virginia Slims tennis tour, with the deep pockets of tennis magazine publisher Gladys Heldman and corporate sponsor Philip Morris.

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LGBT groups protest potential California textbooks

By : Wire Report
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SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) – Gay rights groups told a California state commission Wednesday that they object to several of the textbooks that could be recommended for use in schools, saying the books don’t include enough information about the contributions of LGBT Americans.

The state Department of Education is preparing to update textbook recommendations for the first time since California became the first state to require teaching about the contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

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Billie Jean King returns to New York with new Empire team

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – Billie Jean King and her World Team Tennis league have returned to the venue where she won four U.S. Open singles titles.

The New York Empire are competing in Forest Hills Stadium at the West Side Tennis Club, the former site of the U.S. Open through 1977. The new Empire team is coached by Patrick McEnroe.

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Laverne Cox cast as wax museum’s first transgender figure

By : Wire Report
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SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Actress Laverne Cox is being cast as the first transgender person with a wax figure at a Madame Tussauds museum.

Merlin Entertainment spokeswoman Kari Martin says a life-sized likeness of the Orange is the New Black co-star is scheduled to be unveiled at the Madame Tussauds’ in San Francisco on June 26, two days before the city’s annual LGBT pride parade.

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Billie Jean King on Caitlyn Jenner and transgender tolerance

By : Wire Report
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NEW YORK (AP) – Billie Jean King believes Caitlyn Jenner has given people clarity about transgender issues beyond the progress already made four decades after they shared the international sports spotlight.

“The interview with then-Bruce Jenner, and now Caitlyn Jenner, really helped people to be clear in understanding, especially about gender vs. sexuality,” the 71-year-old former tennis star said in an interview with The Associated Press. “Everybody’s always getting very confused with that. Then they finally realized they have nothing to do with each other.”

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Billie Jean King pulls out of Sochi opening ceremonies

By : Wire Report
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New York (AP)  – Billie Jean King will not attend Friday’s opening ceremony of the Sochi Olympics in Russia because her mother is ill.

King was chosen in December to help lead the U.S. delegation to the Sochi Games. King has been outspoken in her opposition to Russia’s anti-gay law and had planned to attend ice hockey and figure skating events and meet U.S. athletes during her three-day visit to the games.

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Smash Hits: Elton John, Billie Jean King shine at AIDS fundraiser

By : Tom Dyer
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Tennis legend Billie Jean King talks about psyching up, coming out and her upcoming Orlando event with Elton John

By : Tom Dyer
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On Sunday, Nov. 17, two bona fide legends will converge on Orlando for the first time since 1997. Billie Jean King and Sir Elton John are co-hosts of Mylan World Team Tennis Smash Hits, an all-star charity featuring tennis stars Venus Williams, Andy Roddick, Marion Bartoli, John Isner and more. The event, at beautiful HP Field House at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex at Walt Disney World, benefits the Elton John AIDS Foundation and the Hope and Help Center of Central Florida. Smash Hits fundraisers have raised more than $11.5 million for HIV/AIDS charities around the nation.

I spoke with King prior to the 1997 Smash Hits event and found her warm, witty and accessible. We spoke again by telephone earlier this month and picked up right where we left off 16 years ago. As you’ll see below, it was much more a conversation than an interview; I left out all the parts where she asked about my family, the newspaper, my life. It was easy to forget that she is an icon, named one of the 100 Most Important People of the 20th Century by Life Magazine.

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10.24.13 Editor’s Desk

By : Steve Blanchard
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SteveBlanchardHeadshotI live an incredibly gay life. I never intended it to be so glittery and fabulous, but, I constantly find myself surrounded by rainbow colors, female impersonators, festive parade floats and LGBT and LGBT-friendly dignitaries speaking out for equality.

It’s not a bad life at all. In fact, I feel fortunate to have a job that requires me to remain so involved in the community. There’s a certain comfort I take knowing that so many people are working toward one goal to make our state and our country better for everyone.

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PBS celebrates Billie Jean King in advance of her 70th birthday

By : Wire Report
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New York – For Billie Jean King, 70 is the new 40.

The tennis great, who turns 70 in November, has been celebrating the 40th anniversary of equal prize money at the U.S. Open, the formation of the WTA tour and her victory against Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes” match.

King was 29 when she accomplished those feats in 1973. On Tuesday, PBS will highlight her career with the national premiere of “American Masters: Billie Jean King.”

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