Originally Posted by New_balls_please
I still don't quite get how GLTA is so popular among the gay community. To me the whole idea screams exclusion and isolation. I would be okay with this if we were in 1920, but nowadays, when most people see us as no different to anyone else, GLTA's ideas seem obsolete and not appropriate to current circumstances in our society. Don't get me wrong. I'm sure it's a lot of fun to play, but I think it's very discriminatory.
The USTA has many leagues and tournaments which cater to all levels of abilities and experience. I've been playing tennis for 15 years now, and I even played Varstity Level as an undergrad. I get pissed when people say things like "oh, you could be the number one ranked gay tennis player in your country" and stuff like that. It doesn't matter if you're gay or heterosexual. Tennis is tennis and you should not be competing in a league just because you're gay.
It's just my opinion
I respect your opinion, guys.
Each to their own. There's no need to criticise guys who choose to play GLTA events though. And I agree that there's no reason why you should be pressured to play GLTA events when you don't want to. We all have different goals with our tennis and different reasons for playing. Me, I've played both GLTA events and mainstream tournaments (called AMTs - Australian Money Tournaments in Australia). I like both.
AMTs are cheaper and more competitive, but things I don't like - average venues and most entrants are either juniors or players much better than me so I'm kinda stuck playing kids or losing to hotshots. I find with the GLTA events I get to play guys of a similar age and ability. Plus the last one I played was at Sydney Olympic Park (where they play the Sydney tournament every January) and it was f-cking amazing to play at that venue. Plus, I live in a small town with few out gay people in it, so I like occasionally being a part of something that's not heteronormative because pretty much every other aspect of my life is - and I don't want to be a drunken trashbag at dance parties or a Grindr desperado, so I think doing something as innocuous as playing a GLTA event is pretty healthy really.
And yes, there are straight players in the comp too so it's not
discriminatory - the guy I beat in my R2 was straight and the year before my doubles comp was won by a friend of mine who paired with his man's straight brother (he ditched his man as his partner coz his tennis wasn't good enough! ha!). The GLTA is more social and more international than mainstream tournaments - I've played a guy from Switzerland and Thailand, a national TV newsreader, Australia's top GLTA player has played Davis Cup for Lebanon and I've definitely made more friends playing GLTA events than AMTs. But I do also like playing local AMTs. If I was younger and a better player I'd probably prefer AMTs but I don't think there's any need to question why some of us like to play GLTA events.
And it is true that tennis is a very heteronormative sport, so I do like that GLTA events allow many gay players to feel more comfortable on the court and about themselves. The last tourney I played in there was a transgender guy playing in the Open division who was actually a very strong player - without the GLTA I'm sure there are many players who wouldn't participate in competitive tennis.
Just because it's not for you, there's no need to be negative towards those of us who like it. Us gays don't have to be one way or another - we're a diverse bunch.