Pride 50

NBA star Reggie Bullock stands up for his murdered transgender sister

Name: Reggie Bullock, 27

Who He Is: Pro basketball player for the NBA’s Detroit Pistons

Why He Matters: In 2014, Bullock lost his trans sister Mia Henderson to a hate crime. Bullock has become a fierce and articulate advocate for all things LGBTQ in a sport where causes are often seen as distractions to the game itself. His speech remembering Mia at the annual GLAAD Award in New York City won him applause and plaudits.

Why We’re Proud: Bullock has spoken of his close bond with his sister, of his own struggle with having a transgender sibling, and of the shock and sorrow of her murder and its horrible aftermath. The suspect in Mia’s murder was acquitted by a jury. Enraged by the injustice and honoring Mia’s memory, Bullock found a new role as an advocate for equality. In April, he and his team hosted a special Pride night at Detroit’s Little Caesar’s Arena. He showed off a tattoo commemorating Mia’s life that got worldwide attention.

Related: NBA star makes big LGBTQ reveal

Bullock has spoken from the heart about how having a transgender member of the family made him take a second look at the ethics of “locker room talk”. Mia, Bullock says, taught him the importance of finding the inner strength to live your truth without regard to peer pressure, something that made him dream of a better world for everyone.

In an exclusive interview with Queerty, he explained that he would continue to advocate for equality, no matter the consequences for his future:

I’m a straight man standing up for LGBTQ. This is something I believe 100 percent. If a backlash comes with it, it comes. But as long as I stand up for what I believe, I know what I’m doing is right.

We’re right there with you, Reggie.

Check out Reggie Bullock’s full GLAAD address below:

Pride50Welcome to Queerty’s Pride50. We’re celebrating the members from our community who are responsible for some of the most inspiring and extraordinary moments for LGBTQ people over the last year. See all the honorees