2019 Icons

  1. Ethel Allen
  2. Kwame Anthony Appiah
  3. Gladys Bentley
  4. Jackie Biskupski
  5. Kate Bornstein
  6. Ana Brnabic
  7. Pete Buttigieg
  8. Eliza Byard
  9. Brandi Carlile
  10. George Chauncey
  11. Lou Chibbaro Jr.
  12. Sharice Davids
  13. Babe Didrickson
  14. Cheryl Dunye
  15. Lillian Faderman
  16. Ronan Farrow
  17. Jewelle Gomez
  18. Emma González
  19. Sherenté Harris
  20. Rock Hudson
  21. Robert Indiana
  22. James Ivory
  23. Anne Lister
  24. Arthur Mitchell
  25. Julia Morgan
  26. Anaraa Nyamdorj
  27. Jared Polis
  28. Angela Ponce
  29. Keshav Suri
  30. Lillian Wald
  31. Edith Wharton

Renée Richards



Transgender Pioneer

b. August 19, 1934
 
"I made the fateful decision to go and fight the legal battle to be able to play as a woman and stay in the public eye and become this symbol."
 
Dr. Renée Richards became a transgender icon in 1977 when she won a lawsuit against the United States Tennis Association. Richards sued the Association for its refusal to let her compete in the U.S. Open women's division following male-to-female gender reassignment surgery. In a landmark decision, the New York Supreme Court ruled in Richards's favor.
 
Richards started playing tennis at an early age. Ranked among the top-10 eastern national juniors, she won the Eastern Private Schools' Interscholastic singles title at age 15. She captained her high school tennis team at the Horace Mann School in New York City and Yale University's men's tennis team in 1954.
 
In 1959, Richards graduated from University of Rochester Medical School. After serving in the Navy as Lieutenant Commander, she pursued a career in ophthalmology and eye surgery while continuing to compete in tennis tournaments.
 
At the height of her tennis career, Richards ranked 20th in the nation. In her first tennis tournament as a female, she reached the semifinals in the U.S. Open women's doubles competition. Following retirement, Richards coached tennis star Martina Navratilova. In 2000, the U.S. Tennis Association inducted Richards into its Hall of Fame.
 
Richards has published two autobiographies: "Second Serve Renée" (1986), also a TV-movie, and "No Way Renée: The Second Half of My Notorious Life" (2007). She is a renowned eye surgeon and professor of ophthalmology at the New York University School of Medicine.