Martina Navratilova is extremely vocal in her transphobic views. Now, she’s feeling the backlash.
The tennis icon was planning to attend the Wilton Manors Holiday Spectacular on Monday where her wife, “Real Housewives of Miami” star Julia Lemigova, was set to perform.
Now, Lemigova has been uninvited and, presumably, Navratilova will be a no-show.
The Wilton Manors Business Association (WMBA) produces the event and once they realized the situation, they took a stand for the trans community and repudiated Lemigova.
“WMBA is dedicated to fostering an inclusive LGBTQ+ community and unwaveringly supports our trans members. We firmly believe that every individual deserves to be treated with dignity, respect, inclusion and equality, regardless of their gender identity,” they said in a statement. “As such we will only work with performers that share in our values and beliefs. WMBA’s board has directed our entertainment partner to remove Julia Lemigova from participating in the upcoming Holiday Spectacular.”
The ex-tennis star was a trailblazer when she came out as a lesbian in 1981. Once a community icon, her virulent anti-trans speech made her a pariah in some LGBTQ+ circles.
There were rumors that Navratilova was getting four VIP seats. WMBA says no tickets were ever issued. Her comments were enough for Holiday Spectacular host FayWhat?! to speak up.
“As a proud, out lesbian, I will always stand in solidarity with my trans sisters,” she said. “Martina's view that trans women aren't lesbians is incorrect. Her assertion that trans girls cannot participate in girls' sports teams is equally misguided. These statements defy the very essence of my beliefs. Trans women are unequivocally women period!”
Navratilova’s attacks on trans people have included saying that trans women are just a “parody” of a woman, that trans women can’t be lesbians, and that trans men aren’t men and trans women aren’t women.
But her most damaging campaign is against trans athletes. She’s said that allowing trans women to compete on women’s teams is a form of “cheating.” Navratilova has called for the governing bodies of sports to formally ban trans people from competing.
This week, she reposted a clip of Queer News Tonight that called her out for her rhetoric. The post quickly went viral, garnering 141,000 views.
This isn’t her first high profile Twitter feud. She’s gone at it with soccer star and out lesbian Megan Rapinoe. Navratilova also went on an anti-trans rant towards “Harry Potter” star Daniel Radcliffe, telling him to “be quiet.” Radcliffe wrote an essay for The Trevor Project in support of trans rights.