Jason Collins came out as the first gay pro athlete in American team sports via a highly personal op/ed in Sports Illustrated. Collins, who is currently a free agent in the NBA, was immediately welcomed by advocacy groups for the LGBT community.
GLAAD issued a statement calling the NBA center a “hero,” and now organizers of the Boston Pride Parade have asked Collins to lead their gay Pride Week march on June 8. In Collin’s piece for SI, he describes feeling regret based on his decision to sit out the 2012 event.
“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,” Jason writes. “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.”
Collins reveals when he came out to Kennedy, the pair agreed to march together in the 2013 parade. “I want to march for tolerance, acceptance and understanding,” Collins writes. “I want to take a stand and say, ‘Me, too.'”
Organizers tell TMZ, Collins is formally invited to participate as a marshal in the 2013 Boston Pride Parade. “Boston Pride is proud that our annual celebration helped to inspire Jason Collins to make his groundbreaking decision to come out,” says a rep for the event.