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The Mexico Ledger - Mexico, MO
  • Oprah Asks Jason Collins About the "Stigma" of Being a Gay African-American

  • Being the first active male athlete in one of the major professional sports to come out was a pretty big hurdle in itself, according to Jason Collins, who revealed that he's gay in an essay for Sports Illustrated last week. ...
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  • Being the first active male athlete in one of the major professional sports to come out was a pretty big hurdle in itself, according to Jason Collins, who revealed that he's gay in an essay for Sports Illustrated last week. But doing so as an African-American added "another dimension" to his revelation, the NBA player tells Oprah Winfrey.
    Winfrey asked Collins if he had considered the "stigma" attached to being gay within the African-American culture.
    Photos: See other celebrities who are out and proud
    "I think that has to do with a lot of just how hand-in-hand the church is with the African-American community. And trust me, I grew up in a very religious family," Collins said in an interview for Oprah's Next Chapter. "I knew as an African-American that it adds another dimension to the discussion."
    Collins said he looked to his uncle, who's gay, as a role model - but also got unconditional support from the rest of his family when he came out to them at age 33, even though his parents never suspected he was gay.
    What advice did Lance Bass give Jason Collins about coming out?
    "After he told us ... on the way home we called him, and on the way home we said, 'We love you,'" his mother, Portia, told Winfrey.
    Watch clips from Collins' interview with Oprah below.

    The Role of Race in Jason Collins' Coming-Out Story

    Jason Collins began his Sports Illustrated cover story with these lines: "I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay." How does race play a role in his story? Watch as Jason and Oprah discuss the stigma of being gay in African-American culture. Plus, find out how Jason's gay uncle served as a role model during his "baking" process.

    The Day NBA Player Jason Collins Came Out to His Parents

    For decades, NBA player Jason Collins struggled with his sexuality and hid his truth from those he loved most, even his twin brother and his parents, Portia and Paul Collins. Now, Portia and Paul open up about the day their son told them he was gay. Watch as they describe the acceptance process they went through in the days after his admission.

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