I know the hardcore tennis buffs will know all about him, but I was surprised to find a list of "gays you should know" that featured an athlete and sportsman I couldn't remember reading about before. Ted Tinling was a mediocre-at-best tennis player who became one of the world's most renown designers of women's tennis outfits. He was also openly gay. From Queersighted.com:
After returning from the war, Tinling again headed to Wimbledon, where he began designing new outfits for the women players, including lace panties for the player Gussie Moran. That outfit led Wimbledon to let Tinling go. It didn't matter, though, because he spent the next three decades as the most famous sports designer, and created Billie Jean King's dress for the legendary 1973 Battle of the Sexes tournament.
But his contributions to tennis went beyond designing dresses, as he was inducted into the International Tennis Hall of Fame in 1986:
Ted Tinling was singularly important and influential in the tennis world. Across the twentieth century, he was one of the masterminds of the community. In his youth, he umpired more than 100 matches for the incomparable Suzanne Lenglen. Over the decades, he was the premier dress designer in tennis for many of the great champions including Maria Bueno and Martina Navratilova. Most significantly, he became a revered Chief of Protocol for the International Tennis Federation and a Director of International Liaison for the women’s pro tour. His knowledge of all facets of the game was incomparable.
He died in 1990 at the age of 80. I wonder if he and Bill Tilden ever...met.