Jason Collins, Family Open Up About His Coming Out
May 03, 2013
NBA player Jason Collins made international headlines by going public as the first active male athlete in a major team sport to come out as gay. Now for the first time, Jason joins his parents and other family members who are opening up to Oprah about the athlete's groundbreaking decision.
In an interview for Oprah's Next Chapter, the 34-year-old center reflects on the worldwide reaction sparked by his decision to reveal his sexuality and he expounds on how he hopes his personal story can contribute to the ongoing debate about marriage equality.
Oprah and Collins are joined by his twin brother -- former NBA player Jason Collins -- his parents Portia and Paul Collins, his sister-in-law Elsa Collins and aunt Teri Jackson, a San Francisco Superior Court judge who was the first family member Jason came out to.
Collins' parents share their reaction after learning Jason was gay, with his father Paul saying there was initially a realization that the image of who his son would walk down the aisle with was forever changed. "Yes, yes it was. I think any parent would have that for a child," Paul said. "You know, you have these things: he'll eventually get married, he's waiting for the end of his career to do that -- and you just expect that that's going to happen - he'll have children and whatever that might be. And then you have to... you change from that."
His mother Portia explained that the news took awhile to really sink in for her. "Well, part of the process after he told us was to go home and kind-of let it resonate, for the two of us to talk about it," she said. "And on the way home we called him, and on the way home we said, we love you. And still, like Paul said, you’re going through a lot of different checklists. Did you see this? Did you think this? No."
Watch the video for a sneak peek of the interviews and catch the full, expanded 90-minute episode of Oprah's Next Chapter this Sunday at 7:30 p.m. on OWN.