Thursday, May 02, 2013 08:19 PM

Proud of Jason Collins


Contact: justin adkins, Publications and Communications Chair, [email protected]

The Consortium of Higher Education LGBT Resource Professionals commends Jason Collins for his bravery in coming out as gay in the NBA.

Jason CollinsNot only did Collins come out, he acknowledged the multiple identities that he holds. The Sports Illustrated article, declaring his sexual orientation started off saying, “I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay.” The impact that this statement makes for our student athletes cannot be underestimated.

Collins expressed what many of us hear in our offices on a regular basis, “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.” For young people to read this in Sports Illustrated is a monumental moment.

Just as Ellen Degeneres was not the first actor/actress to publicly come out, Collins is not the first pro athlete to come out. Athletes like Martina Navratilova and Bille Jean King have helped lead the way and Britney Griner’s recent coming out has just gone under the radar, altogether. However, his role, as an NBA player, changes the climate for gay athletes everywhere. As LGBT resource professionals we know that climate change in male team sports is a challenge. Many of us have encountered coaches and colleagues who say that there are no gay men on their team. For years, people like Jeff Sheng, and his 'Fearless Project’ documenting out high school and college athletes, have helped us reach a population that many have called the last frontier for gay inclusion on campus. Our students now have a very high-profile role model to look up to.


Shared Vision and Mission Statement
To critically transform higher education environments so that lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender students, faculty, administrators, staff, and alumni have equity in every respect.