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I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black. And I'm gay. I didn't set out to be the first openly gay athlete playing in a major American team sport. But since I am, I'm happy to start the conversation. I wish I wasn't the kid in the classroom raising his hand and saying, "I'm different." If I had my way, someone else would have already done this. Nobody has, which is why I'm raising my hand.
The recent Boston Marathon bombing reinforced the notion that I shouldn't wait for the circumstances of my coming out to be perfect. Things can change in an instant, so why not live truthfully? When I told [former Stanford roommate and current Massachusetts congressman] Joe [Kennedy] a few weeks ago that I was gay, he was grateful that I trusted him. He asked me to join him [at Boston's Gay Pride Parade] in 2013. We'll be marching on June 8.