As a gay kid growing up in the 80s, watching Martina Navratilova’s career as a tennis icon meant so much to me—in good ways and bad. Of course, watching a lesbian become one of the greatest athletes of all time was amazing. But it was obvious, even to a kid like me, that she wasn’t treated the same way, by the public or advertisers, as pretty, straight women tennis players—let alone men—with half her talent.
That hurt to see. But Martina endured it with a strength that was as inspiring as watching her win a Grand Slam. Not long ago, I was lucky enough to talk to Martina about her career, her activism, and the progress we’ve made in LGBTQ+ visibility and activism.
Women trailblazers never cease to blow me away with their insights and impact. If you want to be wowed by some other incredible women, check out the All We Can Save movement to put more women into climate leadership positions, or our illustrated tribute to women in the pandemic, or these four women with big ideas on stopping climate change.