The theme of this year’s 2020 US Open grand slam tennis tournament is Be Open.
“When you keep an Open mind, great things can happen. In the game, and out in the world…Generations of tennis players have been inspired by the examples set by Althea Gibson, Arthur Ashe, Billie Jean King and many more who challenged the sport to remove barriers to fairness and justice by epitomizing the values of diversity, inclusion and respect…for each other, and for the game itself.” (US Open.org)
the official poster (designed by Dan Stiles)
When I watched the first US Open televised in 1968, I was a twenty-two-year old closeted lesbian (or so I thought) living alone in Houston, Texas, looking forward to the weekend visits of a girl who didn’t share my enthusiasm for either tennis or romance. Fifty-two years later I am married to a wonder woman who has shared both those passions with me for the past twenty years. Life is good.
Today was Pride Day at the 2020 US Open, a celebration of the LGBTQ+ community I could never have imagined in 1968 or even in 2001 when Pretty and I began to watch the Grand Slam tennis tournaments together. And yet, here we are watching Serena Williams play in her 20th. US Open while her adoring husband cheers from the almost empty arena. The digital “fans” give the eerily quiet matches a surreal quality, but the excellent play almost makes me forget a pandemic that necessitated the solitude.
Thanks to the US Open for jumping through a ton of hoops to make another Grand Slam event possible in a chaotic year, for keeping the safety of everyone involved uppermost in their minds, and especially today for recognizing Love is more than a tennis score.
Stay safe, stay sane and stay tuned.