Ever since coming out as gay, NBA player Jason Collins has been in high demand. He has done multiple interviews, including sitting down with Oprah, and rumor has it that book publishing companies are climbing over each other to sign him to a book deal. Now comes word that Collins will be part of a major Democratic fundraiser. In fact he will headline a May 29 event with First Lady Michelle Obama and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz at the party’s Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender Leadership Council gala event.
Collins, who is a free agent center who played for the Washington Wizards last season, made news when he became the first male athlete in one of America’s four major team sports to publicly declare that he is gay. (Actually Glenn Burke, who played for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Oakland A was considered the first openly gay pro athlete after he came out to his teammates and management in the ’70s, according to The Atlantic.) In a story for Sports Illustrated, Collins officially came out. After doing so, he immediately received well-wishes from President Obama and former president Bill Clinton, among others, notes USA Today.
The Democratic party’s LGBT Leadership Council aims to elect Democrats and highlight the contributions of gays and lesbians in politics.