Missouri Valley / Iowa

Willett Finds Community, Belonging in Tennis

Andrea Gallagher | June 01, 2023

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Queer (LGBTQ) Pride Month is currently celebrated each year in the month of June. For USTA Iowa player, Brandon Willett, it’s a month that has special meaning to him.


“Pride Month is very important to myself and many others, as it allows for equality and diversity in our community,” Willett said. “Participants of Pride Month fight hard for a better tomorrow for love and acceptance.”


Originally from Centerville, Iowa, Willett grew up playing tennis and then took it up again around 2005, playing tournaments and USTA leagues. Now living in Des Moines with his spouse, he is excited about growing the game of tennis.

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“I am passionate about growing the sport of tennis by volunteering and working to help player development,” he added. “I also love the team aspect of organized play, that brings players together for a common goal of winning and sharing close friendships.”


When he’s not playing on the tennis court, Brandon also works full-time at Wells Fargo, and he’s on the tennis staff at Genesis Health Club, in addition to being the USTA Iowa Secretary. Together he and his partner Robert won the 2017 recreational 3.5 World Team Tennis national championships.


Willett said Iowa and the Des Moines tennis community have an amazing group of pros, players and participants that love the game and show respect for one another.  


“It is truly a great place to live. USTA Iowa has provided a safe place for those that celebrate pride to be themselves and not fear hate. My partner and I say thank you to the pros and clubs and to USTA, who fight hard every day for inclusion in the sport.”


For more on the history of LGBTQ month, click here: https://www.loc.gov/lgbt-pride-month/about/



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