Dennis Rodman in a plaid skirt

Dennis Rodman is known to skirt suffocating gender norms. The NBA legend has flaunted black lingerie on the cover of Sports Illustrated, worn drag at the MTV music awards and shown up to a book signing in a wedding dress.

With that expressive history in mind, it should come as little surprise that Rodman showed up to Houston’s recent Pride parade with an outfit that wow’d. The iconoclastic five-time NBA champ walked the route in a stunning plaid skirt and t-shirt that said “Live and Love.”

The video, which Rodman shared on Instagram, has attracted nearly 352,000 “likes.”

“Love will Always Win,” Rodman wrote with an accompanying rainbow emoji. “Happy Pride.”

Rodman was a strong advocate for LGBTQ+ people decades ago, when weren’t many public allies in the world of male pro sports. In a 2019 interview, Rodman opened up his relationship with gay men in the 90s.

“It don’t matter if [you’re in] sports or entertainer or actor or whatever in the world,” he told Business Insider. “Who cares? Okay. Who cares? You know, as long as he play and perform, does it matter?”

In that same interview, Rodman reflected on his famous SI cover, which he points out is the best-selling edition in the illustrious magazine’s history.

“They didn’t know the fact that when [they] shot that cover for the Sports Illustrated that that was the best-selling Sports Illustrated ever,” he said. “And then the gay community started to reach out to me and said, ‘Wow, we never knew that our community can be represented like that in sports.’ And people didn’t know at the time that I was doing that.”

Though Rodman identifies as straight–he’s reportedly denied he’s bisexual–he showed fans that an accomplished male athlete can also flout their femininity. The Chicago Bulls All-Star was one of the most physical players of his era, earning two NBA Defensive Player of the Year awards and seven NBA All-Defensive First Team honors.

And yet, he’ll also show up to an awards ceremony brandishing a sparkly camisole and belly chain. “I like bringing out the feminine side of Dennis Rodman,” he said in a 1996 interview.

Rodman’s embrace of gender-fluidity is way more than a creative PR ploy. He’s also publicly supported LGBTQ+ people on the most important issues facing our community. Way back in 1995, he wore an AIDS ribbon in his hair to raise awareness about the disease.

In retirement, Rodman has maintained his support for LGBTQ+ folx, and continues to push boundaries. He notably showed up to a pro basketball in Argentina wearing drag, complete with a blonde mohawk.

With drag now under attack–multiple states have passed legislation restricting drag performances–Rodman is supporting his favorite queens louder than ever. Earlier this year, he attended a drag show in Chicago’s Boystown neighborhood, and showered the performers with tips.

“I just want to say I love this community and y’all have to make sure y’all stick together and take care of each other,” he said.

Throughout his life, Rodman has shown he unequivocally stands with the LGBTQ+ community. His appearance at Houston’s Pride parade in a skirt is just the latest example of his long-standing support.

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