NBA free agent Jason Collins is first openly gay athlete in a major American team sport

Why NBA center Jason Collins is coming out now
sportsillustrated.cnn.com

No one wants to live in fear. I’ve always been scared of saying the wrong thing. I don’t sleep well. I never have. But each time I tell another person, I feel stronger and sleep a little more soundly. It takes an enormous amount of energy to guard such a big secret. I’ve endured years of misery and gone to enormous lengths to live a lie. I was certain that my world would fall apart if anyone knew. And yet when I acknowledged my sexuality I felt whole for the first time. I still had the same sense of humor, I still had the same mannerisms and my friends still had my back…

...Openness may not completely disarm prejudice, but it’s a good place to start. It all comes down to education. I’ll sit down with any player who’s uneasy about my coming out. Being gay is not a choice. This is the tough road and at times the lonely road…

...The most you can do is stand up for what you believe in. I’m much happier since coming out to my friends and family. Being genuine and honest makes me happy.

It is our hope that the positive reception given Collins's news continues, and is extended to the fellow openly gay athletes who are to follow.

Doug is IAOFM’s resident newsman and spelling czar. Follow him on Twitter @IAOFM

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