The Washington Wizards center Jason Collins declared himself “the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport“.
“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay,” he wrote in a issue of Sports Illustrated magazine.
He explain the feeling of coming out as “the first” openly gay player in US team sport.
“I didn’t set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I’m happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn’t the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, ‘I’m different.’ If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I’m raising my hand.”
Collins was inspired to come out after Massachussetts congressman Joe Kennedy told him he had just marched in Boston’s 2012 Gay Pride Parade.
“I’m seldom jealous of others, but hearing what Joe had done filled me with envy. I was proud of him for participating but angry that as a closeted gay man I couldn’t even cheer my straight friend on as a spectator. If I’d been questioned, I would have concocted half truths. What a shame to have to lie at a celebration of pride. I want to do the right thing and not hide anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding. I want to take a stand and say, ‘Me, too.'”
Collins is a real inspiration for every closeted gay man! Be inspired to live your life the way you want and be yourself!