Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance
The Gay and Lesbian Tennis Alliance (GLTA) is a not-for-profit international organization that manages and sanctions the gaytennis circuit around the world. The goal of the organization is to promote access to tennis and diversity and acceptance within the sport. GLTA-sanctioned tournaments provide a safe space for LGBT players to have fun playing competitive tennis in an environment where all who share the value of diversity are welcome.
The first gay tennis groups emerged in Dallas, Los Angeles, San Francisco and Houston as early as 1979. During the 1980s an informal gay and lesbian tennis "circuit" began to form. By the late 1980s gay tennis organizations were hosting tournaments that drew players from around the U.S., and the idea of a more formalized gay tennis circuit was becoming popular around the time of the 1990 Gay Games in Vancouver. The GLTA was then founded in 1991, and there are now over 50 gay and lesbian member clubs around the world. The first officers were elected at the San Diego Open in July 1991. The first Commissioner of the GLTA was Scott Williford, who was also elected to the GLTA Hall of Fame in 1992 along with Les Balmain, who founded of the San Francisco Gay Tennis Federation in 1981. Other original GLTA board members were Norm Burgos, David Black, Chris Walker, and Gary Sutton. The organization continued to grow rapidly in the 1990s and spread to Australia, Canada, and Europe.