Stubbs Talks About...Everything
From The Age: Never lost for words
Rennae Stubbs, not one to skirt an issue, will be remembered more for her outspoken attitude than her champion doubles play, Linda Pearce says.
When Rennae Stubbs retires from tennis, perhaps by year's end, no Australian-born woman will have won more prizemoney ($US3.584 million at last count), and not even the legendary Margaret Court will have more doubles titles (52, the best by an Australian and all but 10 women in history, including six grand slam events).
Yet it is not for being Australia's closest female equivalent to her lifelong friend Todd Woodbridge that Stubbs, 34, will be remembered.
She has been called a trouble-maker, a nutcase, a big mouth, an attention-seeker. She admits to being aggressive, passionate, outspoken.
"I've never been one to skirt the issue," she admitted. "I'm not one to say, 'I'm not going to comment on that'."
Stubbs travels with her girlfriend of two years, a former US professional softballer, having shared a long-term relationship with her former doubles partner, Lisa Raymond.
It has only been relatively recently that Stubbs has fully embraced her sexuality, and she hopes that by speaking openly, it will help teenagers who might be grappling with gay issues.
"I always say to my friends, 'Wouldn't it be great if everybody who was gay said they were? If we said: February 21, or whatever, this is the coming out day. So, if you are, you have to come out to everybody you know'. It would be phenomenal.
"And it would be nice if everybody could just accept that it's not a choice, this is who you are. You would never, ever choose this, choose to be gay. It's such a difficult thing to deal with and coming out to people and talking about it, and coming out to your family.
"But I don't hide who I am any more. Everyone in the tennis world pretty much knows who's gay and who's not; the only reason I would like it spoken about publicly more is that I wish everybody would realise that, 'See all those people you admire? Out of 10 of them, four are gay, and I just want you to know that your child can still idolise them'."
Stubbs was 25, which is "old, in the terms of", as she puts it, when she had her first lesbian encounter, but she had long wondered, and thought "maybe". Still, it was not until more than five years later that she felt comfortable enough to be open about her lifestyle.
"I was like, 'I have to get over this, this is not a phase, this is not something to be embarrassed about, this is who I am and I'm not going to deny who I am', and I think this is the point you get to in your life.
"I'd just like to be a little bit more open about it now because I want some 16-year-old girl out there to think, 'It's OK'. All it is is somebody loving somebody."...
"The stuff about Hingis, that was the truth — she didn't give us any credit, knowing that we were a very good team that she struggled against all the time, and to say that she played horribly was just no respect for us, and for me, and the next day it was like, 'Holy, moly, I said three things and it was like the headline of the headlines'.