Martina Navratilova says trans women cannot be lesbians in social media outburst

Martina Navratilova

Tennis star Martina Navratilova has once again hit out at trans women.

In a post on X, formerly Twitter, on Tuesday (28 November), Navratilova opposed the inclusion of LGBTQ+ activist and trans firefighter Katie Cornhill in a lesbian visibility tribute by Stonewall.

“Omg…a bloke cannot be a lesbian,” she wrote. “No matter what they say, no matter how they feel, no matter how much they try to convince us otherwise. A bloke≠ a lesbian.”

She was retweeting a post by another anti-trans activist.

In the responses to the post, Navratilova replied to someone who questioned what she would call someone who does “genuinely feel like a woman and wants to be with other woman romantically”. They went on to ask: “Do you deny their existence, or use other names for them, or what?”

The sporting legend, who won nine Wimbledon singles titles and triumphed four times in the singles at the US Open, doubled down on her view, writing: “Still not a lesbian. A male who identifies as a woman and is attracted to women is just that, still not a lesbian. Nobody is denying anyone’s existence, but words matter.”

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This is not the first time Navratilova, a lesbian herself, has spoken out against the trans community, having campaigning against transgender inclusion in sport. She has also used social media to attack drag performers.

The tennis star previously signed a letter supporting the exclusion of trans girls from girls’ sports and called on president Joe Biden to “carve out” out special rules to strictly control trans inclusion at elite level.

She also told trans ally and actor Daniel Radcliffe to “be quiet” on trans issues and hit out at a drag queen just because they spoke about how LGBTQ+ rights are being eroded in the US. 

She called drag queen Pattie Gonia, who met with US secretary of the interior Deb Haaland in October, a “joke” and a “pathetic parody of women”.

Cornhill spoke to PinkNews in 2016 about her transition and described the reaction from her colleagues as “very supportive”, saying the team “saw past trans identity, and realised I was still fundamentally me and still able and competent to do the same job”.

She went on to say: “I don’t know how I could have done it without the support of Hampshire Fire and Rescue Service, which, as an organisation, supports inclusion, equality and diversity.

“The fire service has an important role in leading on this issue as they are an organisation that is held in high esteem by the public.

“As a proud woman, a proud lesbian and a proud firefighter, it is wonderful to be able to help people realise they are not alone, to inspire them to be themselves, and to realise that they can contribute positively in organisations and to society as competently as anyone else does, irrespective of their self, sexual or gender identity.”

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