Alone on the Left – By Petra Hendrickson

Thank you, Renee Richards

Renee Richards wishes she hadn’t spent so much of her life in the lime light.

My guess is that most people don’t really know who Renee Richards is anyway, so her regrets now probably don’t mean much to people.

At the age of 40, Richard Raskind had a sex change operation and “became” Renee Richards. It was a year later, in 1976, that she would really grab headlines. She challenged the United States Tennis Association’s decision to ban her from play in the women’s U.S. Open because she was, as Reuters calls her, a transsexual. The court ruled in her favor, and she was hailed as pioneer.

Now, anyone who knows me well knows why this story would be particularly important to me. And while Reuters may prefer transsexual, I prefer transgender, because unless you feel psychologically like you’re something else, you’re probably not going to make yourself biologically something else.

I can sympathize with Richards’ regrets that she didn’t live as private a life as she would have liked.