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Jason Collins: A ‘huge weight has been lifted’ by coming out (Video)

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Washington Wizards center Jason Collins said a “huge weight has been lifted” from his shoulders after becoming the first athlete in a major U.S. team sport to come out as gay, and that he hopes other gay athletes “raise their hand” and follow his lead.

“I hope that every player makes a decision that leads to their own happiness,” Collins told ABC News’ George Stephanopoulos in an exclusive interview Monday night.

Watch:

Collins, who came out Monday as gay while still an active NBA player, broke one of the last remaining barriers in North America for gays and lesbians in era of constant political gains and ever-growing public acceptance.

At a news conference on Tuesday, President Barack Obama said he told Collins that he “couldn’t be prouder of him.”

Obama said Collins showed the progress the United States has made in recognizing that gays and lesbians deserve full equality. He said they deserve “not just tolerance but recognition that they’re fully a part of the American family.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.
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16 more reader comments:

  1. Hurray!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:12am
  2. yay!!!!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:13am
  3. But why is it big *news* I don’t understand why its such a huge deal …I’m a lesbian but not all over the news

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:16am
  4. “a huge weight lifted”… thats what it does

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:16am
  5. Very happy :)
    I’m glad more n more ppl are coming out

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:17am
  6. because, kimberly, you’re a nobody with an attitude

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:19am
  7. Seriously. It’s the first time someone in major league sports came out publicly as a current player. For young gay kids in their homophobic locker rooms this stuff is huge. But….you’re not in the headlines, so I guess it’s a waste.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:22am
  8. because he is somebody in the eyes of most people.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:23am
  9. Really, it’s only those men who are concerned about their own sexuality who give the slightest interest in who someone sleeps with!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:34am
  10. Kimberly is obviously a man hatter….gay or straight

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:39am
  11. I think that it is important that those of us who are LGBT and are comfortable with living are lifes OUT, do so. The more visible we are, the more people will realize that YES they do know someone who is LGBT, and that we are seeking the same things out of life that others are. Happiness and Love among them. One of the things that so many of us have to continue to fight for is…. EQUALITY! Hopefully, in the not to distant future, WE WILL ALL HAVE THE SAME RIGHTS! I also think it is helpful for those in the public eye to be out when they can. Especially, the sports figures that a number of young people look up to. I think it will help those who are struggling to come out, and feel comfortable in their own skin. I also feel that it is significant that an African American public figure came out. Too often those in the African American community remain in the closet and are on the down low.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:43am
  12. I feel you, it took me 38 years to come out, i was paranoid and stressed out. but the day that i did it felt like the weight of the world came off my shoulder. i wish i had done it much sooner, i sleep like a baby now

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:54am
  13. Rightfully so. I was freed when I released that on my parents. Been out at work, family and socially. It’s not an “admission” it’s a DECLARATION- do it with pride.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:54am
  14. Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG) is a National Organization that offers SUPPORT, ADVOCACY, and EDUCATION to the LGBT community, their Parents, Families and Friends. You can find a chapter close to you by going to http://www.pflag.org. PFLAG chapters are also very happy when our LGBT Allies attend meetings. It is truly the support from our Allies that will eventually help the LGBT Community to achieve full EQUALITY!

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:56am
  15. You go boy !

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 9:58am
  16. To people saying what’s the big deal about coming out, if gay people weren’t so villainized and oppressed and hated in the sports, media, and government, it wouldn’t be a big deal about coming out. But since gays are so held back in society, anyone coming out is important and big news. He’s the first out active male.

    Posted on Tuesday, April 30, 2013 at 11:42am