HIV-Positive Olympic Medalist Ji Wallace On Jason Collins, Sports Equality, And Loving An HIV-Negative Man

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

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  • Tackle

    He seems to have a great attitude. Love his uplifting message.

  • Charles175

    It is far more safer to have a relationship with someone that is honest about their HIV status than one that is not. For there are many that are still hiding their status either from their own self’s or hiding it from others they have sex with. Unlike the one that is honest and up front about his status, these don’t take care of themselves and usually are unconcerned about another. Known consistent undetectable viral loads are also a much, much lower risk.

  • yaoming

    Are they twins?

  • Polaro

    It was a missed opportunity to explain safe sex and risk trade offs in this era of bare backing. Otherwise good story.

  • gjg64

    Trampoline is an Olympic Sport?

  • the other Greg

    @yaoming: Yeah, it’s always a little startling (I mean creepy) when a guy falls in lo-oooove with an identical twin type. It was one thing when I clicked on page 3. Out of curiosity I clicked on Volttage. com and… sorry… I cracked up laughing!

    As SNL had it once: “Me-Harmony!”

    Probably not the “sexy” response the site was going for?

  • Mykey

    tell me pic 3 is a double image of himself…

  • AndrewIB

    Picture no.3 is a little strange..a bit creepy.

  • justinbrent

    Don’t forget Dave Kopay the first NFL football player to come out publicly. He was also one of our pioneers.
    I wonder why he and Billy Bean are often left off this list of professional athletes who have publicly come out.
    They both have written books about their professional athletic careers. I’m glad to see you’ve included Billy on
    this list.

  • viveutvivas

    “Me-harmony”, that’s a good one…

  • Mark

    “I don’t look at Shaun as being HIV-negative. I look at him as being educated enough to understand …” — Thank God that those who don’t stay negative have patience with those of us who do … Give me a fucking break.

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