Jason Collins joined thousands in Boston to march in the city's gay pride parade on Saturday.
The NBA journeyman wore a Nike sponsored shirt that read #BETRUE. Collins marched with his former Stanford roommate, Massachusetts congressman Joe Kennedy III.
Collins wrote a Sports Illustrated article to come out and mentioned in it that Kennedy was a major influence in his decision.
I realized I needed to go public when Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at Stanford and now a Massachusetts congressman, told me 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.”
The recent Boston Marathon bombing reinforced the notion that I shouldn't wait for the circumstances of my coming out to be perfect. Things can change in an instant, so why not live truthfully? When I told Joe a few weeks ago that I was gay, he was grateful that I trusted him. He asked me to join him in 2013. We'll be marching on June 8.
In April, Collins became the first openly active gay player in American professional sports.
Collins, 34, has played 12 NBA seasons for the Nets, Grizzlies, Timberwolves, Hawks, Celtics and Wizards. He's set to be a free agent in July.