Jason collins melissa etheridge gay

NBA Star Jason Collins
Admits He's Gay;
Melissa Etheridge Says
“It’s Beautiful”

Sports Illustrated

Jason Collins is making history— and Melissa Etheridge tells In Touch she couldn’t be happier.

"I'm a 34-year-old NBA center. I'm black and I'm gay," the athlete revealed in a shocking article he wrote for Sports Illustrated on April 29. "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.”

On the night of Jason's big reveal, In Touch caught up with Melissa at the Family Equality Council’s Night at the Pier, where she opened up about the basketball player's announcement.

“It’s beautiful. It’s wonderful. It’s a feeling,” the singer— who came out in 1993— said. “Can’t you feel the wave? We’re over this now, aren’t we? We can finally understand that there are people born gay and we live our life and we love and we work and we live and we have our lives. And then that’s it, okay?”

She continues: “I relate to this. I understand this and he’s now setting himself free. It is a beautiful, wonderful feeling to not have to hide yourself. He’s a smart man and he wants to live a nice life and there’s nothing to be ashamed of. And if you have enough support for your family and friends, you’re like, 'Here I am.'"

And Melissa makes sure to practice what she preaches. The "Come to My Window" crooner makes a habit of surrounding herself with those who support marriage and family equality— in particular, her pal, Brad Pitt.

“He’s a big straight guy. He’s a big, handsome straight guy who’s into girls," she said of the World War Z star. "And if that guy says, 'Don’t beat up on this guy. I dig him,' you know it has a lot of weight."

Brad has always been vocal about supporting marriage equality, and even donated $100,00 to the Human RIghts Campaign in Oct 2012.

"It's unbelievable to me that people's lives and relationships are literally being voted on," Brad said. “But that's the system we have and I'm not going to back down from the fight of loving and committed couples to have the ability to marry."