HOUSTON VOICE www.houston voice.com
APRIL 18, 2003 13
point LESLIE ROBINSON
I didn't let on that our tennis team was
all-gay. If our opponents knew, would
their onlooking husbands express disgust,
or suggest a party after the match?
Lesbian love on the court
AFTER MORE THAN 20 YEARS AWAY
from competitive tennis, I was recently
convinced to join a team. An all-lesbian
team. I thought I'd died and
gone to Wimbledon,
Actually, what I
really like about
playing on this
team, called the
Alliance, is that
it's fun, not the
stuff I remember
from high school.
That we're all gay is
simply a nice bonus.
That we're all gay also
injects a note of drama when we
face other teams.
Take what happened a few days
ago during our first match. As my doubles partner, Victoria, and I walked onto
the court, one of our opponents asked
what the Seattle Tennis Alliance is.
Though eight feet apart, Victoria
and I exchanged a glance quicker than
you can say "grand slam."
In doubles when a player chooses not
to hit the ball and leaves it for her partner
to hit, she yells, "Yours!" Victoria's eyes
I blurted out something factual but
vague for which Victoria would later
tease me. I did not mention that those of
us on the team all have something in
common, and it ain't a special fondness
for the crosscourt forehand.
In the one fat second I'd been given to
decide how to answer, I'd felt a
bulge of anxiety in my
stomach that seemed
to encompass all
the possible reactions of the
be horrified that
they were facing off against
they be dumbfounded that packs
of us roam about
freely like this? Would
they be embarrassed to
know we're all women-
lovers? Would they giggle?
Would the news travel
from court to court under
the guise of picking up
balls? Would their onlooking husbands express disgust, or suggest a little
party after the match?
OF COURSE, IT'S POSSI-
ble they would have had no
reaction, or a positive one, or
that some of them were gay, but tell it to
my stomach. Compounding the anxiety
was the realization that if I outed Victoria
and myself to these two women, I'd be
outing our whole team.
So in that moment I opted for a jumbo-
sized lie of omission.
Only later did it dawn on me that
telling them we're lesbians might have
had advantages. For a start, they might
have assumed we were terrific athletes —
Martinas, one and all.
We lost the match. Obviously we could
have used a little intimidation.
Afterwards we adjourned to a Mexican
restaurant for a postmortem and margari-
tas. When I told my teammates about my
predicament ~- to out or not to out — one
player suggested we make out on the
court with our doubles partner. Or grab
our partner's butt at an opportune time.
Like when we're losing.
This opens up a raft of possibilities.
Just before serving, I might yell to ■ •
Victoria at the net, "Sweetheart, let's have
a baby!" Ace!
Or when the other team is lining up to
serve, she could turn to me and bellow,
"How could you hurt me like that? How
could you sleep with Susan? Look at her
over on court 3, pretending you two didn't
do the nasty last night! I don't care if she
is on our team, I want her to lose! And
you better keep your head low. No telling
where I might hit this return of serve!"
The wide-eyed stares from across the
net would be worth it all by themselves,
never mind that the opponent's serve
would wind up in the Puget Sound.
After we left the restaurant, I realized
we hadn't come to a group decision on
what to say the next time any of us is
asked about our team. This will not do.
It's all my body can handle to be playing tennis again after so many years. I
decline to put it through these other contortions as well.
Leslie Robinson is a Seattle-based freelance writer and can be reached online at
PykeS TfrW_l_c.il Out for tyAl^BecJata
LOOK AT THIS. BUSH HAS CREATED
SUCH A DIVERSION IN JRAQ, NOBODY
NOTICES THE DOMESTIC SITUATION.
HE'S USING HIS TAX CUTS .AND HIS VW?
TAP TO STARVE THE GctVERNMENT.
HE'S RE-INSTITUTING F&UDAIJSW
HELLO? WHAT ABOUT YOVR DOMESTIC SITUATIOW? YOUR LO VER'S
HAVING SURGERY MEXT WEEK?
A O/D PLAYER. XF I'M GONNA
BE LYING .WOUND HERE IN A
CHEMarHERAF"Y HAZE, AT LEAST
I CAN WATCH THE DIRECTOR'S
CUT OT "UNCLE BUCK"