Before announcing to the public that he is gay, NBA athlete Jason Collins was engaged to be married to his college sweetheart, former WNBA player Carolyn Moos. The two were together for eight years before Jason called off the wedding in 2009, leaving Carolyn heartbroken and confused as to why the relationship ended. The truth wouldn't be revealed to her until years later -- just a few days before Jason publicly announced his homosexuality in Sports Illustrated.
In this clip from his interview with Oprah for "Oprah's Next Chapter," Jason opens up about being engaged to Carolyn while struggling with his sexuality, explaining that he was still working through several different emotional stages that prevented him from accepting the truth about himself.
"At that point, I hadn't reached acceptance in myself yet," Jason tells Oprah in the clip. "Being in the closet... it really is going through the 12 steps of denial and shame and anger and all of that. I hadn't reached acceptance yet."
When Oprah asks Jason if he had intended to try to live a straight life, he says a psychologist may be better equipped to answer that question, but says that he knew he couldn't follow through with the marriage. "It was, deep down, 'Jason, you can't go through with this,'" he remembers thinking. "'You're going to be ruining her life and your life, and leading to a life of unhappiness.' I'm still trying to process it, but ultimately, I [made] the right decision."
Even though Jason believes he did the right thing by calling off the engagement to Carolyn, he still has regrets about how the breakup happened. "I wish I would have told her the complete truth at that time," he admits. "[But] I wasn't there yet."
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