Archive | Monday , October 8 , 2007

Why are lesbian tennis players out of the closet but the Gay and Bisexual male tennis players are still hiding?

amelie-mauresmo.gifconchita-martinez-is-a-lesbian.jpggigi-fernandez.jpglisa-raymond-is-gay.jpgbill-tilden-flying-leaping-shot.jpgthe-great-bill-tilden.jpgRenee Stubbs

Whenever a heterosexual male tennis player is playing tennis, the cameras will always gaze into the stands, at the model girlfriend or wife.  partner. For instance, when Tim Henman matches were broadcast on television, the cameras always focused on wife Lucy. On the BBC, the commentators will always mention that Henman is happily married, with a wife, and children.

At the US OPEN, CBS sports talked constantly about Tommy Haas girlfriend. When Andre Agassi played the media always discussed his heterosexual marriage to former pro Steffi Graf. It also happens all the time with Roger Federer the cameras will gaze over at Mirka. When Rafael Nadal is playing the cameras will focus on his girlfriend.

Of course, heterosexual male tennis players exist on the ATP tour. However, there are also gay and bisexual male tennis players because due to science there are always gay and bisexual men in a population. It is a fact of life that some men are gay or bisexual so why are the male tennis players reticent about their bisexuality and homosexuality?

My theory is,I think some ATP Tour players have “public” girlfriends, and “private” boyfriends. The sports culture is very heterosexist and macho. There are also some male sports fans they would cringe and be disgusted if their favorite male athletes were gay or bisexual. People also forget about  bisexuality some people believe men cannot be bisexual and this is false.There are plenty of men out there that are sexually attracted to both sexes. I think some of these male tennis players are also bisexuals.

In the sports community, a man’s masculinity is tied in with his sexuality. The question is why? The heterosexist message is gay and bisexual men cannot be strong men. The myth of the mainstream society is that a gay man cannot be masculine and  be a great athlete. The illogical theory is if a gay male athlete does come out then the myth of his masculinity is shattered and he is less of a man.

Next, some straight people will say being gay “doesn’t matter” in sports. Well if being gay isn’t a big deal, why is there still the “shame”? Why is being straight such a big deal in sports? Why hasn’t a  gay male tennis player in the Open era  come out of the closet? Open era tennis started in 1968 its been thirty nine years and no male tennis player has ever stated that he is gay.

Yet on the WTA tennis fans know of the many lesbian tennis stars. Of course in society lesbianism isn’t considered a threat to mainstream male sports fans. Lesbianism is also not a threat to heterosexual men. Yet the idea that straight male sports fans favorite male athletes can be gay seems to be a threat to their psyches and masculinity. The fear of the unknown outrages some straight men. I believe men are keeping other men in the closet. Of course, another point to consider is the closeted gay male athletes want to maintain the “respect” of their heterosexual male colleagues so they also remain in the closet.

Why is being straight considered part of the “public” sphere but being “gay” viewed as a private matter? The notion of heterosexuality is socially constructed and enforced that we don’t even question why is it important to point out tennis players heterosexuality. Perhaps that’s the problem? Maybe the day will come where being gay in sports isn’t a big deal but it still is.

Perhaps women are also more mature when it comes to dealing with issues of sexuality in sports? Most women don’t care if a female tennis player is a lesbian. On the WTA the players don’t care that Amelie Mauresmo is a lesbian tennis champion. Amelie is respected as a champion. Although Amelie Mauresmo is having a “bad” year by her standards she’s still top 10 in the world. Amelie is a national hero in France, she is loved by the French people and considered a heroine. The French don’t care that Amelie is a lesbian they love her unconditionally. In France, the dream of the nation is that one day Amelie will win the French Open. I know Amelie has the game and talent to win the French Open maybe next year perhaps?

So the public is just supposed to believe the WTA has a disproportionate lesbian population and there are “no” gay male tennis stars? I find this very hard to believe due to science. In a population, there will always be a certain percentage that is gay. There are so many lesbian singles and doubles tennis champions.  There has to be male tennis champions that are homosexual yet they choose to be cowards and hide in the closet.

There was a rumour earlier this year that the French tennis player Richard Gasquet is gay. The rumour burnt into a bright flame when French journalists at the Monte Carlo Masters in April asked Richard if he was gay. The French magazine, Le Point, conducted an  interview with a French business man Arnaud Lagardere claiming he was involved with Gasquet. Lagardere deined the gay rumour. Richard has also denied the rumours. In France, the story is that an older French businessman Arnaud Largardere is Richard’s secret lover. Richard and Lagardere have both denied that they are together.

However, tennis fans across the globe erupted when the story first emerged. Now I am not denying Richard’s heterosexuality. I am simply questioning why some tennis fans have no problem with lesbianism on the WTA but do have a problem with even the thought that some of the ATP tour male tennis players could be gay? Do these tennis fans think being gay is only reserved for the women’s tour?

The Australian tennis pro Renee Stubbs, came out last year during the 2006 Australian Open, to the Melbourne newspaper The Age. Stubbs used to date American doubles specialist Lisa Raymond. Of course, everyone knows that two great tennis champions Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King are lesbians. In Spain, the Spanish media have talked about former Wimbledon champion Conchita Martinez lesbianism for years. Conchita used to date the American doubles pro Gigi Fernandez. The USA tennis commenators even discussed Martinez and Fernandez lesbian romance over a decade ago. There are rumours that the Australian tennis player Samantha Stosur and the Russian Svetlana Kuznetsova are also lesbians.

Since there are lesbians on the WTA, why are the ATP tour players still in the closet? The great Bill Tilden also know as “Big Bill” is the only male tennis champion that we know is gay. Tilden won Wimbledon three times and he was a seven time US OPEN champion during the 1920s and 1930s. Tilden brought glamour, sophistication, and a touch of drama to men’s tennis. Why is there this void in men’s tennis? Tilden cannot possibly be the only man to ever play pro tennis and be gay?

Tennis is an individual sport. There is absolutely no reason why a player would need to remain closeted. In pro tennis you are on your own you don’t have to answer to any “team members”. I think it would be easier for male tennis players to come out in tennis or golf then say pro hockey, basketball, football, or baseball.

Amelie Mauresmo did not lose any endorsements when she came out and that’s progress. Back in the 1980s, when Martina Navratilova and Billie Jean King were forced out of the closet. King’s hairdresser outed her, and Navratilova was outed by a journalist. King and Navratilova lost their endorsement deals.

Times have changed in professional tennis Amelie Mauresmo is very respected in the tennis world and she makes good money on the court and off the court. It is perfectly possible to be openly gay and have a successful tennis career because Amelie Mauresmo is proof of this.

I am not advocating that gay male tennis players should hold press conferences coming out or doing big articles or photo shoots. Amelie Mauresmo simply didn’t deny she was gay and that was it. I think that’s the kind of approach the gay male tennis players can follow. Being gay in sports wouldn’t be as big a deal if more male pro athletes come out. The more players come out the more common it would be for fans to accept these gay male tennis players.

I think it goes to show that the lesbians are the ones with the courage. The lesbians are the ones that pushed the battle for gay rights forward in the sports arena not gay men. It is the lesbians in the 1980s and 1990s that encounter some homophobia but won the battle. The fear of lesbianism on the WTA tour has faded away. Being a lesbian on the WTA tour is not a shock to anyone. So why would it still be a shock for tennis fans if some top male tennis players were indeed gay or bisexual?

On numerous tennis message boards just bringing up the topic about male athletes being gay strikes a chord in people it’s a passionate subject. I think it’s entirely possible there has to be gay male tennis players or golfers. I mean think about it these guys travel together across the globe, they spend a lot of down time off the court together, practice together, maybe even share hotel rooms, and have meals together.

Why is it so hard for some people to believe some of these male tennis players are dating each other? Would tennis fans really care if a top male tennis player was gay? Wouldn’t that make tennis more interesting and exciting? People say they don’t care if male athletes are gay but they obviously do and that’s one of the reasons the gay male tennis players are still in the closet. I think its time for somebody on the ATP Tour to take a stand but I doubt it will happen. It just goes to show whenever gay rights needs advancement its the lesbian community that has the courage and determination to not live in fear.

List Of WTA Lesbian Tennis Stars

1. Martina Navratilova (out of the closet confirmed lesbian)

2. Billie Jean King  (out of the closet confirmed lesbian)

3. Renee Stubbs   ( out of the closet confirmed lesbian)

4. Amelie Mauresmo (Confirmed lesbian out of the closet)

5. Conchita Martinez ( Not out of the closet but Conchita is a lesbian)

6.  Nicole Pratt  (Ditto not out of the closet but Nicole is a lesbian)

7. Samantha Stosur (Ditto not out but Sam is a lesbian)

8.  Gigi Fernandez  (Former girlfriend of Conchita Martinez they used to date in the mid 1990s)

9.  Mary Carillo   (Once married to a man but numerous rumours is Carillo is bisexual or lesbian)

10. Virginia Wade ( Not out of the closet but Virginia Wade is rumoured to be a lesbian)

11. Maria Bueno ( Rumour has it Bueno used to date American tennis champion Darlene Hard)

12. Darlene Hard  ( Rumoured to be in a lesbian relationship with Maria Bueno)

13. Lisa Raymond ( Lisa is out of the closet she is the former girlfriend and lesbian lover of Renee Stubbs)

14. Hana Mandlikova ( Hana is not out of the closet but she is a lesbian)

15. Jana Novotna ( Jana not out of the closet she is also gay)

16. Gabriela Sabatini ( Gabriela is not out of the closet she is also a lesbian)

Link:  http://www.metroweekly.com/feature/?ak=4404

I am thinking about self publishing right now

       Today is Thanksgiving Day in Canada its a national holiday and I’ve been thinking about some things. One of the things I’m thinking about is self publishing my next book. I’m tired of receiving rejection, after rejection, after rejection. The book industry in Canada is so small anyhow.  My first book “You Don’t Know Me” was published by a small press TSAR in Toronto.

      For the past two years I’ve haven’t found a second publisher  for my non fiction manuscript. I’m tired of waiting. I am indeed doing my homework. There is a self publishing company in Canada called Trafford Publishing based in British Columbia. I hear Trafford is good but I find they are a bit too expensive. I’ve heard about Authorhouse but they mainly deal with USA authors. I definitely will avoid Publish America I read an article about that company in the Washington Post and they seem unprofessional.

           I’ve been thinking about iuniverse nothing is set in stone of course. Right now I’m just researching. Anybody that  reads my blog have any advice about self publishing? I’ve heard a lot of horror stories. But I think there is a positive side to self publishing as well and the most obvious is control of your own work. And of course I know it will be hard but I think I’m willing and able to work hard and make things happen for myself.

                 Of course the hard part isn’t really getting a book published. For self publishing you simply pay the fee and they will publish the book for you. However, the problem is distribution. How does the book reach the public? I read that only 10% of books are actually bought online. Most people still go to bookstores to buy books. So how would a self published author get people to buy his or her’s new work? Now that’s a quandary. Of course, the internet is a good resource. And as it appears I have a lot of homework to do. I haven’t decided on self publishing but the more I think about it. I might consider it?

      Also there is a social stigma towards self publishing. The mainstream book industry looks down on it because its not viewed as “genuine” publishing. Sometimes though self publishing cuts through a lot of red tape.  Anyone with advice about self publishing please feel free to send comments. I want to learn as much as I can about this before I make a final decision.

Is Canada Really Doing Well Right Now? There could be a Federal Election Very Soon?

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                 On the surface to the outside world everything seems perfect in Canada at the moment. The Canadian economy and dollar is soaring at the moment. Unemployment is down to a thirty three year low at 5.9%.  Canadian shoppers are crossing the USA border in droves searching for bargains. However, beneath the surface there is tension that is going to boil over very soon if the real issues are not dealt with.  First, over seventy young Canadians soldiers have died and perished in Afghanistan. For what? I don’t even know. 

             The first picture is  Gerard Kennedy he should be the leader of the Federal Liberal party but he’s not.  I believe Canada now needs a “younger” leader someone that is optimistic someone that understands the concerns of younger people but also can balance the concerns of older people. Gerard Kennedy has the charisma, the talent, and the potential to be a great Liberal leader. Some Liberal strategists claim Kennedy’s youth and inexperience in Federal politics is the reason he’s not the leader yet. Kennedy is forty seven years old. Is that young? Guess so in Canadian politics. 

          The second photo is Jack Layton he’s the leader of the Federal New Democratic Party. The NDP party is what many call the “central left” party in Canada. The third photo is the new Liberal leader Stephane Dion. The Liberal party is thought of as being in the “center”.  The fourth photo is Stephen Harper the current Prime Minister of Canada he’s also the leader of  the Conservative Party of Canada. 

         Prime Minster Stephen Harper has visited Afghanistan to score political points. Harper is exploiting the dead to score political points. Harper has  proclaimed that the soldiers are making a great sacrifice.  Is this really true though? Is it a sacrifice when young fathers are dying and young women are now widows raising children that won’t know their dads? Is it a “great sacrifice” when soliders die?  And yes Harper definitely has scored a lot of political points. Some Canadians believe Harper is taking the right stand showing “support” for Canadian troops.

        Canada is in a precarious position at the moment there is  also a minority government and that means instability. The Liberals lead by the insipid Stephane Dion lost three seats in Quebec by-elections recently. Although Dion is French Canadian he is not popular with other French Canadians.  Since Canada has a minority and not a majority government there could be a snap fall election. Nobody really wants this of course. Elections cost money and even Federal Liberal strategists don’t want a Federal election right now because the Federal Liberal party could lose even more seats. And in Ontario we have a Provincial election on Wednesday we don’t want to have to deal with another election after this one.  

         Harper has definitely been coached well by his  public relations team by appearing patriotic and talking about national unity. However, in my mind Canadian troops in Afghanistan is a United Nations issue not a Canadian issue. I believe the death of  seventy Canadian soldiers is far too many. What are these young soldiers dying for anyway? Afghanistan is such an unstable country it will take years most likely decades for the country to find stability. CBC has been airing documentaries about young Afghan girls finally obtaining education which of course is positive. However, lets be honest here the majority of Afghan women still endure misogyny and male domination. A nation that is patriarchal does not change over night. Osama Bin Laden is still on the loose the country the world should be focusing on should be Pakistan. General Pervez Musharraf is a dictator and he cannot be trusted yet he is considered an ally of the United States.

                 Since the Canadian economy is doing very well at the moment there  is not a lot the Federal New Democratic Leader leader Jack Layton or the Liberal leader Stephane Dion can complain about with Prime Minister Stephen Harper. In fact, Canada also has a $14 billion dollar surplus which Harper says will be used to pay down the national debt. Harper is scoring a lot of political points with voters. A lot of “older” voters care about issues such as paying down the debt. However, why doesn’t Harper use the surplus to help the Canadian people? The excess money could be used to create more social housing, assist the Canadian health care system, help university students, assist women fleeing domestic violence. Violence against women is a very important issue an issue the Canadian government casually ignores. Again, the rights of women is obviously not an important issue for the Conservative party of Canada. Domestic violence is a top five issue it is a root to so many social problems. More needs to be done. Harper cannot say Canada doesn’t have the money now.

        Harper has no detour he should be focusing on improving the nation and he’s not.  Why is Harper using all of the surplus to pay down the debt? It sounds illogical to me that Harper is doing this.

        The problem for Canada right now is we have a spineless Liberal leader Stephane Dion he cannot challenge Stephen Harper. Dion is not a strong man. Dion doesn’t have any sophistication nothing at all that sets him apart he needs his own identity. Dion appears insecure and agitated when asked tough questions.  I wanted Gerard Kennedy to be the new Liberal leader. There was a Liberal party convention last year and Kennedy lost early in the rounds of voting. Kennedy cares about people he was once the executive director of the Toronto Daily Bread Food Bank he also was the former Provincial Education minister in the province of Ontario. The problem for Kennedy is that people are fearful of him due to his so called ” youth” and “inexperience” at the Federal level. Again Kennedy is  forty seven years old is that really young? Canadian politics is weird!

        However, Stephane Dion should not be the Federal Liberal leader. Dion just doesn’t have that spark. The last Canadian Prime Minster Jean Chretien may have been an old man but at least he had charisma and a personality. Chretien was like a street fighter he never backed away from a fight.  A leader cannot just speak the facts. A leader must be brave and bold. A leader must connect with the Canadian population and especially have the support of his or her own party. A leader must be someone that inspires the nation not someone that infuriates people.  Dion is losing support internally within the Liberal party. Don’t be surprised if there is a purging and Dion is removed as the leader.  Dion is bland and dry as burnt toast.  Its clear to me that there is a lot of tension inside the Federal Liberal party at the moment. The leader of a political party must be a strong man or woman that has charisma but also strength. Dion doesn’t exhibit any of these qualities. Dion comes across as  whiny, unlikeable, and as a nerd. Some in the media have suggested that Michael Ignatieff should be the new Liberal leader yet this man has only recently moved to Canada. Igantieff has lived off Canadian shores for most of his life. Stephen Harper and the Conservative Party of Canada will never be defeated until the Liberals get a stronger leader.

          There is a ray of hope though the Federal NDP is growing in strength the new NDP leader Jack Layton has seen a surge in popularity with his party. The NDP also holds the balance of power.  There is another Canadian political party that exists that really makes no sense the Bloc Quebecois lead by Gilles Duceppe. The Bloc Quebecois wants to destroy Canadian unity and separate Quebec from the rest of Canada. The problem for the Bloc Quebecois is that many French Canadians don’t want to separate from Canada. Canadian law already grants Quebec so many special powers. For instance, Quebec has their own legal system, they have specific immigration laws that apply to that province as well. French is the second official language in Canada. It looks like a Federal election could be taking place very soon. I don’t know what’s going to happen? Harper could win a majority and that would be horrible. The only positive thing about a minority government is that Harper cannot just pass any legislation he wants. The other political parties have to realize that they do hold power they can force Harper to make concessions. My belief is the other political parties should wait until next year and then maybe only then have an election. Its such a shame that Stephane Dion is the Liberal Leader he’s simply too weak.

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