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30 for 30: Renee

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Renee is the story of Renee Richards, previously Richard Raskind, a trans athelete who had sex-change surgery, then filed a lawsuit to get her onto the pro woman's tour.

This is the type of story that keeps me coming back to the 30 for 30 series.  This is sports apocrypha which says something about society, not just about sports.  It helps that I hadn't heard about this story, despite being at least tangentially familiar with the queer scene.

Not all of what this story says about us is complimentary, of course.  This is a story of overcoming bigotry, of education.  Some people come off looking intolerant, including some of the tennis stars of the day.  The scars have healed, by now, and I'm sure it helps that Renee Richards never won a major.  It does spur one to wonder at both how far we've advanced in the tone of the discussion, and how little we've come to a consensus about this problem from a sporting standpoint.  The debate on chromosomal testing, for instance, lives on in the Olympics.

The interview of Richards' son, Nick, provides a haunting epilogue to the film.  This isn't "And they all lived happily ever after."  This is more like the long-term grief that we saw in Once Brothers.

This is one of the best of the 30 for 30 series.  Definitely see it.

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