‘Queens at Court’ LGBT Tennis Documentary Premieres @CitiOpen With Director @ShivPaul
Stephan Fogleman, Tennis East Coast
WASHINGTON — The documentary film “Queens at Court,” featuring the stories of struggle and success of four lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) amateur tennis players on and off the court, was screened tonight at the Citi Open Tournament Courtside Hospitality Tent. The event included a cocktail reception and a Q&A session with the film’s director, Shiv Paul.
Tonight’s screening was the first of three that the USTA is hosting throughout the Emirates Airline US Open Series, the summer tennis season linking eight North American hard-court tournaments to the final Grand Slam of the year, the US Open.
Among those featured in the film are a gay man from Washington, D.C., who fights weight issues, a military veteran from New York who turned to tennis to cope with the aftereffects of war, and a transgender female trying to find her way in the world. Each regularly competes in an international gay and lesbian tennis tour, the Gay Games and USTA heterosexual tennis leagues.
“We are honored to screen ‘Queens at Court’ at the Citi Open Tournament and share stories representing those LGBTQ athletes who have found strength in their sport and through the support of their fellow athletes,” Paul said. “‘Queens at Court’ aims to show that what we all have in common — regardless of gender, sexuality, color, size or anything else — is we are all trying to find our place in the world.”
Tournament Director Jeff Newman was excited that Citi Open hosted the premiere. “We love it. Any time we can provide a platform for good causes, we’re happy to have it. When we were approached by the USTA, we welcomed it right away and we look forward to having it for years to come”, he told Tennis East Coast. “Any time you can bring people together and celebrate good causes, if we can be the venue that provides that, we look forward to it”.
A future screening is also planned in Cleveland, Ohio during the Gay Games 9 on August 12 at the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel. For more information, visit GLTA.net.
—Sheena Pegarido of Citi Open contributed to this post