Jason Collins and Joe Kennedy march for gay pride in Boston

The athlete was inspired to come out publicly in April in part thanks to the congressman

Published June 8, 2013 6:49PM (EDT)

   (Jason Collins' Twitter)
(Jason Collins' Twitter)

Jason Collins, who in April became the first openly gay male professional athlete is marching for gay pride in Boston with his old college roommate, Massachusetts Congressman Joe Kennedy III. Earlier today, he tweeted a picture of them together:

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The picture is particularly meaningful as Collins decided he needed to come out publicly after Kennedy marched in last year’s parade and Collins didn't feel like he could participate.

Kennedy is proud of Collins' decision and recently wrote an op-ed in Bay Windows, a blog for New England's LGBT community, about why he participates in the march:

This year, I’ll tell them one more thing. I’ll tell them about my friend Jason Collins. I’ll tell them that it was Pride – with all that pomp and circumstance – that encouraged him to come out and be proud of who he is.

Jason will march in the parade with me this year – a seven-foot tall, African-American, professional athlete in the midst of the costumes and colors and confetti. Hopefully, there will be people on the sidelines watching him the way he watched others last year; empowered and inspired not just by his participation but by the thousands of people flooding the streets of Boston to cheer him on. Maybe, those people will sign up to march themselves next year, just like Jason did. And that is why we celebrate Pride.

By Prachi Gupta

Prachi Gupta is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on pop culture. Follow her on Twitter at @prachigu or email her at pgupta@salon.com.

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Related Topics ------------------------------------------

Boston Gay Pride Gay Rights Jason Collins Joe Kennedy Lgbt Equality