12-year NBA vet, Jason Collins has officially come out as a gay man -- and is the first active male athlete in a major American sport team to do so. After a Sports Illustrated online essay was made public on Monday, Collins noted that he has dated women, and at one point was even engaged to a woman.In the eye-opening May issue of Sports Illustrated, Collins made very honest remarks regarding his past relationships with women, and why he's chosen to come out now:

"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, 'I'm different. If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand."

A free agent that has just finished this season with the Washington Wizzards expressed how he felt before coming out:

"When I was younger I dated women. I even got engaged. I thought I had to live a certain way. I thought I needed to marry a woman and raise kids with her. I kept telling myself the sky was red, but I always knew it was blue."

Jason's twin brother noted in his essay, massive support for his brother after Jason told him the news last Summer:

"I won't lie. I had no idea. We talked, he answered my questions, I hugged him and I digested what he had told me. At the end of the day, this is what matters: He's my brother, he's a great guy, and I want him to be happy. I'll love him and I'll support him and, if necessary, I'll protect him."

Many celebrities such as Boris Kudjoe, Neil Patrick Harris, and Mike Tirico have shown support and pride for Jason's honesty and decision to come out.

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