Feminising the “coming out” story of Casey Dellacqua: Ambivalence, acceptance, and silence in the Australian sports media

Research output: Book chapter/Published conference paperChapter (peer-reviewed)peer-review

Abstract

In 2013 and 2014, respectively, athletes such as tennis player Casey Dellacqua, Women’s National Basketball Association (WNBA) player Brittney Griner, and United States (US) football (soccer) player Abby Wambach “came out” as lesbians in the sports media. Through a case study media analysis, the current chapter investigates the coming-out story of one of these particular athletes, Casey Dellacqua, through one aspect of the Australian sports media. Dellacqua stands out as unique amongst these other women as she chose to share her personal story of her same-sex partner and newborn baby Blake with the world at the United States Open Tennis Championships (US Open) in August 2013. Some of the broader media reactions have been extremely positive and supportive of Dellacqua (and her partner and newborn baby), while other media reports have ignored her personal story altogether. In many ways, these varied reactions in the media have paralleled the notion of “ambivalence” in sports reporting on female athletes, devised by Wensing and Bruce (2003).Ambivalence is best described as a combination of positive images and sports reporting, alongside the traditional undermining and negative images and reporting of female athletes, women’s sporting competitions, and women’s sporting success.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationCritical perspectives on gender and sport
EditorsCurtis Fogel
Place of PublicationChampaign, IL
PublisherCommon Ground Publishing
Chapter10
Pages137-151
Number of pages15
ISBN (Electronic)9781612299969
ISBN (Print)9781612299952, 9781612299945
Publication statusPublished - 2018

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