See how the athlete’s is inspiring others – just by being himself!
John Burroughs High School football player Jake Bain is leaving his school an inspiring legacy, and not only because of his sports skills! The 18-year-old captain came out as gay to his high school team AND his new coach at Indiana State University, in order to break some stereotypes and send a message to other LGBT athletes.
“Most people don’t have to come out. Most people don’t have to worry that they will be judged based on who they are attracted to,” Jake told his team.
“Playing football and being gay, those two things don’t really collide with each other usually, at least not in the public eye,” he shared with NBC News. “So, I thought it would be nice for people out there who might have insecurities about coming out, if they saw someone like me who is a successful football player and who can also be openly gay.”
Jake shared that he was often the target of gay slurs from opposing teams during competition.
“People would say things like…‘Gay people aren’t meant to play football,’ things of that nature,” he said. “It definitely hurt a lot. The thing that hurt the most, was people were attacking me for something that I couldn’t change.”
But Jake added that his own teammates were always there to support him.
“One of my players actually got up and got in the kid’s face and started talking to him — like yelling at him — telling him to mind his own business and stuff like that,” he said. “Just seeing that, seeing my teammates who are really willing to go to battle for me, it was just really a great feeling for me.”
Jake has already become a role model around his own community, and we definitely see that reach extending further.
“There’s been a lot of students, both out and who have yet to come out, who have approached me since I’ve come out,” he explained, adding, “the message they’ve given me is that I’ve led the way for them to be whoever they want to be.”
All the best in college, Jake!