Bleacher Report: Jason Collins is the first openly gay male athlete in any of the four major professional sports leagues in North America to come out while still active, as he did with an eloquent piece in Sports Illustrated. In that respect, he’s a pioneer.

But he’s not the first openly gay athlete of any sort—far from it, actually—and he won’t be the last. The 34-year-old NBA veteran’s courageous step into the spotlight is just the latest in a long and arduous journey with a conclusion that has yet to be reached. Collins is but the latest to bridge the sports world and the LGBT community.

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