The US Open has been certified by New York City’s historic Stonewall Inn—the birthplace of the LGBTQ+ rights movement in the U.S.—as a safe space for the LGBTQ+ community.
The Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative, Stonewall’s non-profit organization, works to certify entertainment venues, food and beverage locations, stores, businesses and other public venues, as SIGBI Safe Spaces—which, according to the organization, carry “the spirit and values” of the Stonewall Inn by “uplifting LGBTQ+ persons, fostering education for their neighbors, and providing space to celebrate, thrive, work, shop and live freely.”
In the months leading up to the US Open, the USTA partnered with SIGBI to complete a 10-step certification process to ensure the tournament is advocating for equality and creating a safe space for LGBTQ+ employees, players, coaches, officials, fans and other attendees. USTA and US Open employees also completed training designed by Jennifer Brown Consulting to ensure that they are working to embrace an inclusive environment.
Marisa Grimes, the USTA’s chief diversity, equity and inclusion officer, was joined by former world No. 1 doubles player Rennae Stubbs and Stonewall dignitaries Monday at Manhattan’s West Village landmark to accept a certificate signifying the US Open’s status.
“Safe Spaces are vital in order to uplift LGBTQ+ people and provide places to celebrate, educate, thrive, work, shop, relax and live freely,” said Stacy Lenz, CEO, SIGBI. “The Stonewall Inn is the original Safe Space, and we are thrilled to expand our reach by certifying the US Open. We believe this certification sets an example for sporting events across the globe and ensures that all LGBTQ+ athletes and fans feel welcome and safe.”
“The USTA believes that tennis thrives when the sport embraces inclusion. For that reason, we strive to create an environment where people of all ages, ethnicities, religious backgrounds, abilities, sexual orientations and gender identities feel welcome and accepted,” Grimes said.
“Having the US Open certified as a Safe Space elevates the voices of the LGBTQ+ community on tennis’ grandest stage and is another example of our efforts to spread the message of freedom, equality, and safety for all.”
The US Open’s celebration of Pride will continue into the main draw, too: On Aug. 31, the tournament will also hold its third-annual Open Pride event with several on-site activations including a panel discussion of LGBTQ+ influencers.