Althea Gibson was a black American lady tennis player who won Wimbledon and many other major championships during the late 50’s. She was also a very good singer and a friendly soul, carrying none of that anger and fury many of today’s blacks exhibit the minute the spotlight shines on them. She passed away some years ago, without the headlines that accompany any black American who has claimed victimhood and has denounced America as a racist, fascist state.
Arthur Ashe won Wimbledon a couple of decades after Althea, and he has a stadium named after him, not to mention a place on the black immortals table, a movie or two, and sainthood. Ashe was black and died of AIDS, thus making him a hero twice over. His death was blamed on a blood transfusion, and no one disputed it. Ashe was married, but there were always rumors concerning his sexuality. Was it because he was soft-spoken and did not fit the macho image of a black womanizer? Perhaps.
In any case, it doesn’t matter. What matters is that Althea Gibson was never appreciated or fêted by black leaders because she refused to play the victim. She never made any money despite being number one in the world, and was never recognized as a great champion, which she was. Today, she would have made millions and been elevated to Olympian heights because of her color. I remember practicing with her in Rome and Paris, and people looking at us curiously. I was among the weakest players on the circuit; she was tops. We made a bet once, with me insisting no one could watch (to go all out against a woman seemed awfully unmanly), and I won. Just. Which brings me to another point: Now that the Olympic bosses are thinking of allowing transgender athletes to compete without having undergone “gender reassignment surgery,” all I would have to do is declare myself a woman, and perhaps I’d win gold.
Well, not so fast. I’m looking back 60 years at my match with Althea in Rome. No umpire, no linesmen, no spectators. Perhaps a few bad calls by yours truly. “You’ve never hit like this before,” she shouted. “Too bad you’re not a girl.” I never forgot her words, especially as I went down to defeat after defeat traveling and playing tennis around the world. Against men, that is. Now a self-declaration that I am a woman is all I would need to win against women. And I can put on a dress and theoretically have access to women-only spaces like college dorms, changing rooms, and so on.
Surely this cannot be right. And yet anyone who dares challenge this idiocy is bulldozed by the vocal and often vicious transgender lobby and made out to be a bigot. Better a bigot, however, than a coward who gives in to the transgender Nazis. While the vast majority would never dream of misusing their freedoms, there are men who will see this as an open invitation to abuse—of vulnerable young girls and women, for example. Germaine Greer has recently come under attack for claiming that transgender women are not women: They’re mutilated men. My friend Barry Humphries, one of the best-read men around and a hell of a comedian, agreed and also came under withering abuse. What the hell is going on here? Can’t a man or a woman have an opinion any longer? Not where the gay, lesbian, transgender, and bisexual lobby is concerned. Well, they can go and transkill themselves as far as I’m concerned.
The fact is most normal women agree with Greer and Humphries. You can’t live for 65 years in the body of a man like Bruce Jenner—an Olympic gold-medal winner in the decathlon—and suddenly grow a pair of boobs and call yourself a woman. Being a woman has to do more with emotions and experiences than with a pair of fake tits.
What is also amazing is how intolerant people who preach tolerance to us are. They are inflexible, doctrinaire, and humorless. If one is suspected of being homophobic, biphobic, or transphobic, one might as well hang up his jock. Or brassiere, as the case may be. Basically, Jenner and all the other freaks pouring out of the closets are looking for publicity. Jenner got on the cover of Vanity Fair by dressing up as a woman; the lesser souls who imitate him will have no such luck.
But the real fun is to be had when some 250-pound male gorilla throws the shot 25 meters and wins gold in the Olympics, and that evening puts on a beautiful gown and dances the night away. I actually played against a woman once in a tennis tournament, but when I played him he was a man, Dick Raskind, a Yalie. He later became a “woman,” so I never had a rematch.
It seems we normal types never get a break.