As any tennis player will tell you, Martina Navratilova ruled that sport back in the 70s and 80s. She won 18 Grand Slam singles titles and reached the Wimbledon singles final 12 times. For so many, Martina is a hero. She is for me too, but for other reasons. She could have devoted her life to her sport but keep quiet about her private life. Martina could have spent time in a closet. Instead, she publicly came out as a gay woman in 1981, and she has been an advocate for LGBT equality ever since.
Coming out does so much good for so many, but it is a difficult decision and I don't for a moment mean to second guess those who chose not to. In some cases it just isn't safe. Sadly, there are places where your honestly could cost your life. I'm always pleased though when people are visible and that's why back in September, Martina warmed my heart when she got down on her knee between matches at the US Open, and proposed marriage to former model Julia Lemigova. There they both were up on the Jumbotron for all to see.
Yesterday was their wedding day. Congratulations and much happiness to both women. Your act yesterday makes a difference. People have more and more positive role models now. This can only be a good thing. As people continue to fight against marriage equality, we can only hope that someday folks will realize that love is all you need. Thanks Martina for helping to lead the way.