Happy Birthday, Billie Jean King. King captured the world when in 1973 when she pummeled misogynistic Bobby Riggs on the tennis court. In a match that became known as The Battle of the Sexes, King defeated Riggs. Riggs whose mantra was: No broad can beat me. Apparently, Riggs was hatched and had no mother. Do men really say things like this?
I also want to celebrate King for her dedication to breaking down gender stereotypes and for her advocacy for equality for the LGBT community. King showed great courage in coming out as lesbian and helped to increase visibility and helped pave the way for other famous women to be out and proud.
Aside from serving as a Board Member for Elton John’s AIDS Foundation, King has also been honored by the Human Rights Campaign, GLAAD and the Lambda Legal Foundation. To commemorate the 35th Anniversary of her defeating Riggs, King released her book, Pressure is a Privilege: Lessons I’ve Learned from Life and the Battle of the Sexes. In 2009, President Obama presented King with the Presidential Medal of Freedom.
Happy Birthday, Ms. King and thank you for being a strong pioneer in the continued fight to end gender discrimination and to fight for equality for the LGBT community. You have an amazing legacy!