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Navratilova Came Out In 1981

By Charlotte Robinson, April 30, 2013
Tennis Icon Martina Navratilova came out in 1981 shortly after she became an American citizen. She didn't receive a call of congratulations from then President Reagan. It’s amazing that it’s still such a media blitz around the fact that Jason Collins came out announcing to Sports Illustrated “I’m a 34-year-old NBA center. I’m black & I’m gay.” This is 2013 after all. Every major news network began their broadcast with the story about Collins being the first major league athlete to come out. Of course this isn’t quite true. You have to wonder why it’s so difficult for men like Collins a 7 foot NBA center to finally come out especially during the years he played for the Boston Celtics where gay marriage has been legal since 2004. Collins stated, “I realized I needed to go public when Massachusetts congressman Joe Kennedy, my old roommate at Stanford, told me he had just marched in Boston’s 2012 Gay Pride Parade. I’m seldom jealous of others, but hearing what Joe had done filled me with envy. I want to do the right thing & not hide anymore. I want to march for tolerance, acceptance & understanding. I want to take a stand & say, “me, too.” So on June 8th Collins hopes to join the Boston Pride Parade. Navratilova stated,  “Collins' action will save lives. This is no exaggeration: Fully one third of suicides among teenagers occur because of their sexuality. Collins will truly affect lives, too. Millions of kids will see that it is OK to be gay. No need for shame, no need for embarrassment, no need for hiding. Come out, come out wherever & whoever you are. It is beautiful out here & I guarantee you this: You will never, ever want to go back. You will only wonder why it took so long.” Updates to Come…:)
LISTEN: Gay Filmmaker Rolla Selbak Speaks OUT

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