PRIDE: Legends, Life and Love Elenor Denker - Ode to Billie Jean
mixed media 8x10x19 $250
Confronting injustice over and over
Billie Jean King’s life work
At 11 years old, she decided to wear shorts instead of a dress to play a tennis match, and was therefore excluded from the group photo. At 13, she noticed that everything about tennis was white - Where was everyone else? she wondered…
Her tennis career was outstanding.
• She won the Wimbledon Ladies Doubles at 17 – the youngest ever.
• She won the fight for equal prize money for men and women at the US Open.
• 90 million people watched her defeat Bobby Riggs in the “Battle of the Sexes”.
• At 23 years of age she was ranked number one in the world.
• She was the first female athlete to earn more than $100,000 in a year.
Billie Jean knew she was gay, but kept it hidden because she knew it would harm her career. When she was 38, she was outed by a former girlfriend. Billie Jean has come to the conclusion that sexuality is “a continuum”. She was married to her husband Larry King for 22 years, and came out as gay when she was 51. “I only liked guys when I was young. I didn’t think about girls. And then all of a sudden, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, what’s happening?’ My truth was changing over time. It took me forever.”