QUEERTY EXCLUSIVE

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

NBA player Jason Collins just came out, becoming the first male in U.S. professional team sports to be openly gay. How do you think that will affect sports in the U.S. or even across the globe?

What a big step. I commend his bravery and I hope he can exhale. While Jason might be the first current player in the big four U.S. team sports to come out, many gay and lesbian sports people have been chipping away at the issue of ‘out’ in sports for many years. Great strides impact over time and in time we can hope to compete in a homophobia free sports world.

Lets backtrack a bit to 2005. Can you tell us what motivated you to publicly come out as gay?

At the time, I was friends with an editor of a gay paper in the city I lived in, and he asked if I was interested in doing something for his paper. I agreed as I thought I could help those who were struggling with their own sexuality.