He’s such an inspiration! Jason Collins is the first gay athlete playing in a major American team sport to come out of the closet. Keep reading for his emotional letter to the world, where he notes, ‘The strain of hiding my sexuality became almost unbearable.’
In a candid open letter, appearing in the May 6, 2013 issue of Sports Illustrated, Jason Collins reveals that he “baked for 33 years” and he’s finally ready to come out of the closet.
Jason Collins: ‘I’m Gay’ — Excerpts From His Open Letter
“I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black. And I’m gay. 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. My journey of self-discovery and self-acknowledgement began in my hometown of Los Angeles and has taken me through two state high school championships, the NCAA Final Four and the Elite Eight, and nine playoffs in 12 NBA seasons. I’ve reached that enviable state in life in which I can do pretty much what I want. And what I want is to continue to play basketball. I still love the game, and I still have something to offer. My coaches and teammates recognize that. At the same time, I want to be genuine and authentic and truthful.”
Jason reveals why he decided to come out now:
“Why am I coming out now? Well, I started thinking about this in 2011 during the NBA player lockout. I’m a creature of routine. When the regular season ends I immediately dedicate myself to getting game ready for the opener of the next campaign in the fall. But the lockout wreaked havoc on my habits and forced me to confront who I really am and what I really want. With the season delayed, I trained and worked out. But I lacked the distraction that basketball had always provided.”
Jason Collins Leads The Way For Other Gay Athletes
Jason hopes to lead the way for other gay athletes to come out of the closet, which is why it seems appropriate that he chose Sports Illustrated‘s website and magazine to post his open letter.
Read Jason’s full open letter. Should more gay sports stars come out of the closet?
What’s YOUR take on Jason’s huge announcement, HollywoodLifers? President Obama certainly had an interesting response; watch his speech, courtesy of our friends at NowThisNews, below!
Watch: President Obama Says Jason Collins Can ‘Still Bang With Shaq’
– Chris Rogers
More Coming Out News:
- Jodie Foster Comes Out As A Lesbian During Golden Globes Speech
- Boxer Orlando Cruz: I’m Gay
- Anderson Cooper Officially Comes Out: ‘I’m Gay, Always Have Been’