Staff Writer cityXtra Magazine
Check out the video above which tells the story of Jake Bain, the star athlete and best football player at John Burroughs High School in Missouri. After coming out as gay at an all-school assembly, he’s now signing with Indiana State.
Bain told KSDK that it was difficult hearing things from other players on the field after people knew he was gay: “At the bottom of a pile a lot of times I would hear ‘stay down, you fag.’ I would hear, ‘this is no sport for gay people.'”
Added Bain: “My main reason for coming out was not necessarily for me. I have always been comfortable with myself and how people view me. For me, it was to try and reach out to people who aren’t comfortable coming out. I feel like, especially within athletics, there’s a stigma. I don’t think being an athlete and gay really collide.”
Bain said he wanted to be assured before signing with a college that he would be accepted: “I had a meeting with the head coach, Kurt Mallory and I sat him down with my family and said ‘I love the place. I love everything about Indiana State but before I commit the next four years of my life, I want you to know I am an openly gay person and that is something that is a part of my life.’ I knew he would accept me because that is the kind of person he is. He told me he had coached gay players in the past.”
The St. Louis Dispatch also posted a lengthy profile of Bain. It starts off like this:
Two autumns ago, he scored three touchdowns in the state title game, but on this October day, his senior season ended unceremoniously. So the running back walked off the field, seeking solace in a hug from his boyfriend.
“I did notice that moment, and knowing that was the last game of Jake’s career, I thought, ‘How lucky is Jake for that?’” said John Merritt, the football coach at John Burroughs. “And what does that say about our community, that they can both express themselves without any fear?”
Jake Bain is the best athlete at his high school. He’d be the best athlete at most high schools. As a sophomore running back, he was named the Class 3 Offensive Player of the Year in Missouri. As a sophomore! And after winning the state title, he was selected team captain for his junior and senior seasons. On Wednesday, Jake signed to play college football — he’s headed to Indiana State next year.
He is openly gay.
“This is a kid who, in every traditionally stereotypical way, would not have been connected to that community,” said John Burroughs head of school Andy Abbott, “but in every authentic way, was and is.”