By Lori Perkins
Lesbian icon and tennis star Billie Jean King has been a loud and proud proponent of gay marriage for decades, and was publicly committed to her life partner for more than 40 years, but even after the passage of the gay marriage laws, she and her partner never formerly tied the knot. She refrained even after Elton John offered to sing at her wedding and John McEnroe practically double dog dared her.
Well, it turns out King and Ilana Kloss, her partner of 42 years, did take one of their friends up on their offer to officiate the wedding in October of 2018. She and Kloss were married by former New York City Mayor David Dinkins in his apartment with his wife Joyce as a witness. No Elton John or John McEnroe in attendance. And no press or announcements in The New York Times.
The only reason we even know about this marriage is because King revealed it in her just published memoir, All-In, which goes on sale tomorrow. Her best friends and family only found out about it when she sent then advance reading copies!
King wrote that the reason she finally got married was that, “Years from now, I never want anyone to question how much I was committed to you.”
“Nobody threw rice or smashed wedding cake in the other’s face,” an excerpt from the book reads. “One of the brides wore jeans and a lovely red scarf and the other had on a black shirt, a comfortable warm-up suit, and pearls—ha!—a personal touch of glamour that Ilana still teases me about.”