Basketball player Jason Collins and soccer star Robbie Rogers are perhaps the world’s most discussed openly gay athletes, but they stand on the shoulders of some seriously courageous forerunners, from baseball’s Billy Bean to basketball’s John Amaechi–both of whom came out shortly after retirement–to individual sport heroes such as Olympian diver Greg Louganis and, of course, tennis greats Billy Jean King and Martina Navratilova. Let’s face it, queer athletes warrant their own hall of fame as some of the best athletes the world has ever seen, and those are just the ones we know about.
Lost in the hubbub but hardly forgotten is Olympic silver medalist, Ji Wallace, the Australian who came out publicly in 2005. Wallace also took home gold at the 1996 Trampoline World Championships and set a record for the double mini trampoline in 1998. It was as guest of honor at the London Pride House during the 2012 Summer Olympics, while watching a television interview with Louganis, that he was inspired to tell the world that he, too, was HIV-positive.
Today, the athlete turned activist is outspoken about his HIV-positive status and dating an HIV-negative man, Shaun. He and Shaun just took a star turn as models for Jack Mackenroth‘s dating website, Volttage.com, devoted to HIV-positive gay men. David Duran caught Wallace after the shoot to talk about the radical development’s in the world of athletic equality.
Click through for photos and interview with Wallace