In an interview with USA Today, Billie Jean King says she went through a very rough time when she was outed in May 1981.
"My galimony case, not coming out when I was ready, was a real hardship," King said. "You know, my lawyer and my publicist didn't want me to come out with the truth, that I had an affair with a woman. And so that was really hard. I think that's taken me the longest, to be comfortable in my own skin. It took probably until I was 51. But in '81, with Martina Navratilova coming out, it was a tough time. You know, I lost all my endorsements in 24 hours.
"And now I know [NBA player] Jason Collins hopefully will get some new endorsements because he's come out and shown how courageous and brave he is. ... When gay rights becomes a non-issue, the LGBT community can exhale."