Jason Collins of the Washington Wizards comes out in the May 6 issue of Sports Illustrated, becoming the first gay athlete in major U.S. men's professional sports to come out during his career.
"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay," Collins writes in the first-person essay, which is online now.
"I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different.' If I had my way, someone else would have already done this," he writes. "Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."