Profiles of LGBT people, from the past and today – and celebrating their birthdays! All Birthdays →

Martina Navratilova

Born in Prague, Czechoslovakia, Martina Navratilova is one of the most successful female tennis players of all time. In 1975, the year she turned professional, Navratilova requested political asylum in the United States, and was granted citizenship in 1981. She eventually won 59 Grand Slam titles, including 18 singles titles, 31 women’s doubles titles, and 10 mixed doubles titles. In 1981 Navratilova became one of the first professional athletes to come out as gay. She has been an outspoken supporter of equal rights. In 2000, the Human Rights Campaign, a national gay rights organization, selected her for its National Equality Award. For a number of years, she was involved in an intimate relationship with Rita Mae Brown, author of the acclaimed novel, Rubyfruit Jungle.