[Guest Author: Post Ever After]
I was saddened to read that Martina Navratilova has breast cancer.
Before Jane Lynch, before Ellen, before Melissa Etheridge, there was Martina.
I loved watching her play. She controlled her game with sheer, unadulterated dynamism.
I can very often remember the exact moment when I found a new word. Like the first time I heard the word lethargic was the first time I met my aunt from Germany or the first time I realized what an aquiline nose was, was the first time I was allowed to sit in the aisle seat in a plane and on and on.
For me, the words ‘gay’ & ‘homosexual’ are inexorably linked to Martina Navratilova. I remember looking up the word ‘lesbian’ at 10 when they had written it under a caption of her and remember being jolted with what it meant. It fascinated me & friends & I discussed it for days on end.
I guess growing up in the Middle East, where a whiff of homosexuality was nowhere to be found, the understanding of Martina’s choice showed that differences & choices exist, even in what I had thought of till then as basic truths – men and women came together and that was all there was to it.
I know friends who say that Ricky Martin coming out is not such a big deal because it was rather obvious all along. But it is still significant for some child out there who lives in a place where conformity rules. Where he or she doesn’t know any better and is going through life thinking the choices that have been made around them are all the choices that’s out there in the world.