The history of homosexuality in tennis - Page 13 - TennisForum.com
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post #181 of 534 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2004, 08:00 PM Thread Starter
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Adammco: Hull was the maiden name of Helen Jacobs mother-it was her way of honoring her.

Fry's sexual preference was called into question at least once-by Stan Hart in his book "Once a Champion."

I agree with Roan on at least two points.

1. Tennis players were definitely 'straight-marked" in the publications of eras past. Pauline and her "beau" for example (1940s), or Margeret Smith and her Swiss boyfriend Sturza (1960s-and I'm just picking one of a few) got mentioned in the press. Ya never saw that for Brough, or Dupont, or Hard, or Bueno.


2. The choices must have been tough for female players who were (what we would today call) lesbian or bisexual. Unlike a man, business opportunites were few after retirement. If you wanted children it was get married-forget what I'll call the "Hana" option of today. Helen Jacobs and Alice Marble were lucky in the sense that the public was fascinated by their personalities, opening the door to endorsements. Both were also able to support themselves as writers.

Speculation on my part:
What arouses my sense of curiosity is this: how did these women self-identify themselves? Even if they were bisexual or lesbian there wern't what I'd call role models in those days. Would you even identify yourself as "different"? I can easily imagine girls or guys rationalizing any physical relationship with the same gender as just a passing stage to be quickly forgotten about once their career was over.
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post #182 of 534 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2004, 08:39 PM
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Doris + Shirley = great friends = not lesbians

Margaret + Louise = special friends = lesbians

This rationale makes no sense. I just don't understand the need to label Louise as gay when there is no solid evidence of this "fact." So sad...

I have not really noticed any "nudging and winking" from the writers of that period? Calling them "special friends" or describing them as "inseparable"? Is that all? Margaret & Louise were close. They were doubles partners for 16 years for God's sake. Doris & Shirley played together for even less than half that time period.

And while I've never read of Louise & Margaret sharing a bed together or blowing kisses to each other in public, there is a photograph on the web somewhere of Shirley Fry, Doris Hart & Pauline Betz all sharing an ice cream cone together - you folks should have a field day with that one!!

For the record, Shirley Fry is a married mother of 4. There weren't any sensational stories from the 40s & 50s on Margaret du Pont and some enchanting Swiss beau or whatever b/c she was a married woman with a son; and I've seen many articles which made reference to her then-husband, Will.

As for Alice & her coach Teach, the fact that they might have been lovers seems about as likely to me as the possibility that Maureen Connolly was getting the good stuff from Nell Hopman. Maureen travelled everywhere with Nell in 1953 or 1954, didn't she? And she did say that Nell taught her to "win with love." And wasn't Maureen coached by none other than Teach herself before that?? I guess that makes her family too!!
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post #183 of 534 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2004, 09:33 PM
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There is PLENTY of nudging and winking from writers of that period! Roanhj gives a great example regarding Helen Jacobs who "has thus far shown no romantic interest in men'. Why write this at all? It's only purpose is to signal "lesbian" without coming right out and saying it.

The same applies to Margaret Osborne. Why mention that, after her divorce, she went to live with Margaret Varner Bloss? It's not as if that is very interesting taken at face value.

At the risk of repeating myself, it's all about the context and the frequency.

I am REALLY not interested in whether or not certain players were gay. I AM interested in the way writers hint and insinuate, and how, for example, in the 1970's when at least half of the top players were gay, journalists were enormously co-operative in keeping the closet door firmly shut. Exhibit 1 would be AndyT's quote about Billie-Jean King (above).
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post #184 of 534 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2004, 09:50 PM
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And just so you don't think that Roanhj and Adammco are the same person, I am less convinced than he about a relationship between Alice Marble and Teach Tennant.

On the other hand, those that think the mere idea is ludicrous are missing one giant, salient fact. Alice does write, at some length, about a lesbian relationship she DID have.
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post #185 of 534 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2004, 09:56 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zummi

As for Alice & her coach Teach, the fact that they might have been lovers seems about as likely to me as the possibility that Maureen Connolly was getting the good stuff from Nell Hopman. Maureen travelled everywhere with Nell in 1953 or 1954, didn't she? And she did say that Nell taught her to "win with love." And wasn't Maureen coached by none other than Teach herself before that?? I guess that makes her family too!!

Zummi I've never said anything about Maureen Connolly being involved with Nell or Teach. Do you think Alice was heterosexual? If you do where's your proof? And please don't try and tell me it's Captain Joe." Fake marriages don't count. I can show you Teach Tennant and I can tell you right now both Pauline Betz and Louise Brough said there were rumors about them. Now show me what you've got that says Alice was straight? And no fake spy stories or fake marriages. It has to be real.

Btw, you still haven't said anything about my finding out "Joe" didn't go to Ohio State, can't find him among WWII dead from Kansas, or the fact there's no marriage cert. turning up. You also haven't addressed the issue that Alice told the press totally different stories about being a spy and on her *marriage* Come on Zummi, I know you're a fair person so let's start looking at this stuff too. You can't ignore it. Oh, and I have filed an FOIA with the Army's Human Resource dept to find out if Alice got military benefits.


Look all kidding aside, I'm not trying to be hard on you. But you have got to start looking at this stuff and realizing that Alice was DRINKING a lot toward the end of her life. Zummi, she told all kinds of wild stories. She told the press she made, "$500,000" playing pro tennis back in the 1940s. She told Tory Fretz she was "broadcasting to the Cubans from the library." My thinking is that she made up the marriage to cover up the fact she was never married and she didn't have any great male love in her life. But she did live for years with Teach
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post #186 of 534 (permalink) Old Aug 28th, 2004, 10:14 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo
Speculation on my part:
What arouses my sense of curiosity is this: how did these women self-identify themselves? Even if they were bisexual or lesbian there wern't what I'd call role models in those days. Would you even identify yourself as "different"? I can easily imagine girls or guys rationalizing any physical relationship with the same gender as just a passing stage to be quickly forgotten about once their career was over.
That's the part thats interesting. It's a shame that no one ever talked to Helen Jacobs. She lived all the way up to 1997, and as far as I know no one ever really sat down and asked her anything. I think she would have talked but I don't know for sure. It was rough for the men and women back then. That's what some posters just can't seem to understand. Men and women back then were under terrible pressure to be seen as straight. So, many married or made up husbands, girlfriends or boyfriends. Heck, even Teach Tennant was married for a while and most if not everyone pretty much agrees now she was a lesbian.
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post #187 of 534 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 06:17 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoanHJ
Zummi I've never said anything about Maureen Connolly being involved with Nell or Teach. Do you think Alice was heterosexual? If you do where's your proof? And please don't try and tell me it's Captain Joe." Fake marriages don't count. I can show you Teach Tennant and I can tell you right now both Pauline Betz and Louise Brough said there were rumors about them. Now show me what you've got that says Alice was straight? And no fake spy stories or fake marriages. It has to be real.

Btw, you still haven't said anything about my finding out "Joe" didn't go to Ohio State, can't find him among WWII dead from Kansas, or the fact there's no marriage cert. turning up. You also haven't addressed the issue that Alice told the press totally different stories about being a spy and on her *marriage* Come on Zummi, I know you're a fair person so let's start looking at this stuff too. You can't ignore it. Oh, and I have filed an FOIA with the Army's Human Resource dept to find out if Alice got military benefits.


Look all kidding aside, I'm not trying to be hard on you. But you have got to start looking at this stuff and realizing that Alice was DRINKING a lot toward the end of her life. Zummi, she told all kinds of wild stories. She told the press she made, "$500,000" playing pro tennis back in the 1940s. She told Tory Fretz she was "broadcasting to the Cubans from the library." My thinking is that she made up the marriage to cover up the fact she was never married and she didn't have any great male love in her life. But she did live for years with Teach
but how do you know a relationship was real or fake unless the person tells it themselves? We can't look in their bedroom!

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of the truth
To the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We're all carried along
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In the middle of the night
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post #188 of 534 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 07:54 AM
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Roan, my initial post was mainly in reference to the allegation that Margaret & Louise were lesbians; which I thought was totally uncalled for given that Louise has been married for the last 45 years. I just wanted to set that record straight, no pun intended.

Was Alice heterosexual? Obviously not, b/c she admitted in her second autobiography to a relationship with a woman. So I guess one could call her bisexual. How does that sound to you?

As for Captain Joe, have you ever considered the possibility that "Joseph Crowley" might not have been Alice's husband's real name? Perhaps she used an alias to protect his identity? Or perhaps with all that drinking she was doing in her later years, she just forgot his real name

Quote:
Originally Posted by Adammco
There is PLENTY of nudging and winking from writers of that period! Roanhj gives a great example regarding Helen Jacobs who "has thus far shown no romantic interest in men'. Why write this at all? It's only purpose is to signal "lesbian" without coming right out and saying it.
You initial reference to the "nudging and winking" was in regards to the relationship between Margaret & Louise. That is all I'm interested in. Have you found anything beyond the "special friends" & "inseparable" remarks to prove any physical relationship between them??

And just b/c Margaret *might* have been involved with Varner after her divorce from Will, that does not automatically mean she previously had a sexual relationship with Louise.
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post #189 of 534 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 12:58 PM Thread Starter
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LOL-funny post Zummi -and I think overall your skepticism is good-we get ahead of ourselves at times and a dose of disbelief is called for.

I'm less sure than Adammco about the 'nudging and Winking' around the 40s stars. IMO it reflects how little they knew. As many have said, if you wern't there under the bed how would you know? Rumours are all we'll even have unless some explosive information comes to light.


You need to reread my post about the Swiss boyfriend though-I was talking about Margaret Smith Court and how she was being "straight-marked"=NOT Margaret Dupont.
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post #190 of 534 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 03:51 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by irma
but how do you know a relationship was real or fake unless the person tells it themselves? We can't look in their bedroom!

If Alice Marble had simply said she had a romance with a "Captain Joe" then yes, you'd be right. But she made very specific claims that can be checked out. She claimed he graduated from Ohio State University. He didn't. That is a fact.She claimed he was in the military and he was killed flying over Germany. Again, you can check that out. So, far I'm not finding him. She claimed she married him. Well, again you can go look for a marriage license. Again, it's not turning up. I've filed an FOIA with the Army's Human Resource Department to find out if Alice received military benefits...which if she were indeed a widow of a military man she would have...I'm still waiting to hear from them.

Look, if I went around and "claimed" that I had a wild weekend affair with Colin Farrell it would be tough to prove I'm lying. However, if I tell you I married Colin Farrell wouldn't you expect to see something in the papers about it? How about a marriage license? If I told you I graduated from Harvard University Class of 1997, and you checked and found out I didn't would you continue to believe me? There are things you can check out.
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post #191 of 534 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 04:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Zummi
Was Alice heterosexual? Obviously not, b/c she admitted in her second autobiography to a relationship with a woman. So I guess one could call her bisexual. How does that sound to you?

As for Captain Joe, have you ever considered the possibility that "Joseph Crowley" might not have been Alice's husband's real name? Perhaps she used an alias to protect his identity? Or perhaps with all that drinking she was doing in her later years, she just forgot his real name
Nice answers Zummi. It's good to be a bit skeptical. I do realize the burden of proof is on me. That said, I have been doing a ton of research on this book. I've looked at the newspapers from the 1930s and 1940s. I've checked official documents and now I'm talking to people who knew Alice. With that in mind I can tell you the book "Courting Danger" is too full of lies and inaccuracies for me to except as proof something happened. I think you know as well as I do Zummi, that Alice wasn't trying to protect his identity or she *forgot* her husband's name. Look Zummi, at some point you have to ask yourself do you really want to know about the real Alice Marble...which by the way is a great story or are you so in love with the book that you're going to start ignoring things just to prop up the book? Again, books...even autobiographies...can be wrong. Alice Marble went around telling a lot of *stories* to people. She was a wonderful champion, but a very troubled one.


Rollo I finally came across that story you told me about. The one where Alice Marble told everyone she beat Helen Wills. In the book "The Goddess And The American Girl" author Larry Engelmann interviewed Alice Marble. On page 414, Alice told him that in 1938, as the Wightman Cup team got ready to play the English, Hazel Wightman had Alice play one set against Helen Wills. In Alice's story she beat Helen 6-2. However, this is what the author later found out:

"But the other women present and the New York Times correspondent who watched the play and Mrs. Wightman remembered it differently. the number one player for the Wightman Cup competitions had not yet been selected. And so Mrs. Wightman arranged for Wills to play Marble for the number one spot on the team. Marble did in fact take the first two games, but then Wills surged back strongly and took six of the next seven games and won the set 6-3."


It's my opinion, thus far, that something caused Alice Marble to begin creating a fantasy world. One in which she beat Helen. She was a spy. She was married etc. Now, I don't have a definite answer. I do know....again I talked with Louise Brough and Pauline Betz and both told me that yes, there were rumors about Alice and Teach. It's possible, that the break up and what followed may have led to Alice to start drinking and try to cover things up. Eg. the marriage. Again, were looking at the 1940s here folks.
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post #192 of 534 (permalink) Old Aug 29th, 2004, 04:36 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RoanHJ
If Alice Marble had simply said she had a romance with a "Captain Joe" then yes, you'd be right. But she made very specific claims that can be checked out. She claimed he graduated from Ohio State University. He didn't. That is a fact.She claimed he was in the military and he was killed flying over Germany. Again, you can check that out. So, far I'm not finding him. She claimed she married him. Well, again you can go look for a marriage license. Again, it's not turning up. I've filed an FOIA with the Army's Human Resource Department to find out if Alice received military benefits...which if she were indeed a widow of a military man she would have...I'm still waiting to hear from them.

Look, if I went around and "claimed" that I had a wild weekend affair with Colin Farrell it would be tough to prove I'm lying. However, if I tell you I married Colin Farrell wouldn't you expect to see something in the papers about it? How about a marriage license? If I told you I graduated from Harvard University Class of 1997, and you checked and found out I didn't would you continue to believe me? There are things you can check out.
If she made somebody up that never excisted yeah then it's hard to claim that it was not fake. unless when she hide him very well! But if there is nothing on certificates etc. etc then it must have been a lie (unless when it was an alternative wedding)
I wonder though that when she write that book she wasn't just totally nuts because if she made up stories with a healthy mind then she must have known that people could check it out. Unless when she made stories up on purpose because she just wanted to write a nice book of course!

I was talking in general though. When two people claim to have a relationship (when both excist) then they deserve to be believed unless when there is real prove that they are not. I mean Elton John was married too. You are not believing that was a fake one right?

In the middle of the night
I go walking in my sleep
Through the desert of the truth
To the river so deep
We all end in the ocean
We all start in the streams
We're all carried along
By the river of dreams
In the middle of the night
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post #193 of 534 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2004, 01:36 PM Thread Starter
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About Elton John-and other marriages...

Who knows for sure Irma?

I've known many people who were briefly with a person of the same sex then got married and lived happily ever after (as far as I know)

Then you have those who think it was all a "phase" and get married-only to be unhappy.

A marriage by itself proves nothing. Here in the US the twice married Gov. of New Jersey, who has two kids, was drug out of the closet.

The best one can do is look for patterns. Everything we know about Marble suggests that "Joe" was made up. I, for one, can understand and sympathize why she did it. In her shoes (if Roan's theory is correct-and I'm coming around to it) I would have done the same to protect my privacy and my pocketbook.

As for Alice being "bisexual"-she seems about as bisexual as Martina Navratilova.
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post #194 of 534 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2004, 01:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo

As for Alice being "bisexual"-she seems about as bisexual as Martina Navratilova.

I don't know how much of that was smokescreening in view of the citizenship application, a mismanaged (by Martina and/or her WTA advisors?) attempt at damage limitation in the press or the product of the young Martina's reluctance to come out and pin her colours to the mast.

It must also be said that many many people choose heterosexuality in early adulthood in spite of bi/homosexual inclinations because of peer/family/societal pressure only to change their minds later on. With women, this change of heart is sometimes presented politically. I'm not suggesting their motivation is political but sometimes a shift to a more radical political stance accompanies a change in lifestyle. Men who jump the fence don't tend to see it in those terms.

Traits Gandhi considered the most spiritually perilous to humanity.
*Wealth without Work * Pleasure without Conscience

*Science without Humanity *Knowledge without Character

*Politics without Principle *Commerce without Morality

*Worship without Sacrifice
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post #195 of 534 (permalink) Old Aug 30th, 2004, 02:00 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Rollo

As for Alice being "bisexual"-she seems about as bisexual as Martina Navratilova.
Yeah, whatever happened to the straight side of Martina's alleged bisexuality anyway?

Best left-right combination by a German (and that includes Max Schmeling): Steffi Graf. All she did in 1987 was knock Navratilova out of #1 and try to knock Evert out of the sport. (Mike Lupica in "The Best and Worst of Tennis in 1987", World Tennis)

"A couple of years ago, we nicknamed Steffi Graf's forehand 'Jaws'. And that music would go perfectly when she starts running in to the net, swarming on that little ball." (JoAnne Russell, during the 1988 Wimbledon final between Graf and Navratilova)
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