Photography by JUCO | Retouching by Anna Glen at Wet Noodle
The Moment: April 29, 2013: Jason Collins becomes the NBA’s first openly gay player.
In February, Jason Collins made history in his season debut with the Brooklyn Nets, becoming the first openly gay athlete in America’s four major pro leagues to play in a game. “The fans’ support was something I’ll never forget,” says Collins, who grew up idolizing Sally Ride, America’s first female astronaut. After her death in 2012, it emerged that Ride was a lesbian — knowledge that Collins believes would have helped him as a teen. “I know I would have truly appreciated a hero demonstrating that you can reach the stars,” the athlete says, “and publicly have your authentic life, too.”
Photographed at the Forge, Los Angeles on August 18, 2014
Styling by Kyle Blackmon. Props: Adi Goodrich. Groomer: Brandy Allen/Epiphany Agency