Jason Collins has a lot of good people supporting him as he enters the summer as the first openly gay athlete playing a major American sport.
Most recently, ‘N Sync’s former member Lance Bass revealed that, after learning they have a mutual friend, Jason sought out his advice. The radio host, who is also out as a gay man in the media, told his Sirius XM audience:
“He’s been trying to plan this for a very long time, contemplating if he wanted to do this. In fact, he said he was going to call me months ago but was too scared, because he wanted to tell me.”
“I gave him some very good advice today, because of course everybody wants to interview him…and he was figuring out who would get that first sit-down. He calls, and I was like ‘So, how is your day going?’ And he was like ‘Well, I just got off the phone with two Presidents and Oprah, so pretty good.'”
Lance went on to compare Jason’s coming out to his own:
“I told him, look — this is what I wish would have happened when I came out…because when I came out, I had 24 hours to decide what was going to happen, because basically the magazine said ‘We’re doing it with or without you.’ So I had 24 hours to decide to do this interview and I did…and I thought it went great. But what I wish I could have done back then was to have a couple of days to sit down with HRC, sit down with GLAAD…because back then…[it was just] like Jason told me today, ‘I don’t really know many gay people, because all my life has been is sports, [and] I’ve had such a crazy schedule I never had to think about my private life.'”
“So I gave him some really great connections. He’s going to sit down with GLAAD today…and get some really good information…so he doesn’t put his foot in his mouth, say something that he’s going to regret…This will live [on] for the rest of his life, and he’ll always have this first sit-down to look back on — and he wants to make sure it’s good.”
It’s great that in 2013, something as big as this is met with support and positivity from some of the most powerful people in the world.