Detroit Pistons forward Reggie Bullock vowed to continue using his platform to be an outspoken advocate for the LGBTQ community during a touching speech at the GLAAD Media Awards on Saturday night in New York.
Bullock spoke for about three minutes, earning several raucous ovations — particularly at the end, when he asked the crowd to “stand with me, can you stand up, cheer so loud that they can hear us out on Seventh Avenue, all the way down to the Garden, so that even Knicks fans will know what we stand for.”
“I want the world to see what acceptance looks like and hear that message from a straight guy, a professional athlete,” Bullock said. “Guess what? Athletes have voices and we should be able to stand up for what we believe in.
“I’m trying to get other guys like me and the whole NBA involved.”
Bullock’s profile as an LGBTQ ally has grown in recent years, since the death of his sister, Mia Henderson, who was murdered in Baltimore in the summer of 2014.
Henderson was a member of the transgender community.
“For so long, I didn’t understand my sister. I loved her and I was happy to see her living her truth, but I wasn’t educated about what she was going through,” Bullock said in his speech. “She never even saw me play college basketball in person because I worried about what my teammates would think, what people would think, and I really regret that.
“When Mia told our family that she was transgender, we had a lot of questions, we made mistakes. But, ultimately, we did what any family would do — we accepted her. I wish the whole world would do the same thing. At the end of the day, we’re all just people.”
Bullock, 27, who just finished his third season with the Pistons, has Mia’s name and “LGBTQ” tattooed on his left leg — as he told the GLAAD crowd, but didn’t show them, quipping, “I’m looking a little too fly in this suit right now to show y’all.”
He has made it his mission to get involved in LGBTQ causes, and he told The News last week that he’s received “nothing but love” from teammates, peers and coaches throughout the league. Bullock hosted a Pride Night with the Pistons this past season, and plans to do even more in the coming months and years.
“I had this dream of playing basketball in a rainbow jersey,” Bullock said at the GLAAD event, “and I’m going to make it happen.
“This is what acceptance looks like. Just like me.
“We will never stop fighting until acceptance is for everyone.”
Bullock was among the headliners at the GLAAD Media Awards, along with the likes of Adam Lambert, Melissa Etheridge, Sen. Cory Booker, Robin Roberts and Lea Michele.