Former Indiana State University football player Jake Bain, one of the first openly queer athletes at the NCAA Division I level when he came out in 2018, is the subject of a new video feature from the It Gets Better Project.
The video debuted Wednesday on YouTube.
It combines a recap of Bain’s story, from his initial coming out as a high school student, to his own words of encouragement for LGBTQ youth.
In his senior year at John Burrough School in Suburban St. Louis, Mo. in 2017, Bain was a football team captain and a Missouri state player of the year. He came out as gay in a speech to the student body of the school.
“The speech wasn’t necessarily for me,” Bain recalls in the video. “It was more for the next generation of kids that were watching who were like me and maybe going through the similar things I was going through at the time. I was just kind of struggling with coming out.”
Bain was recruited by Indiana State and played for the Sycamores as a freshman in 2018. In 2019, citing his wish to focus more on academics, Bain ended his playing career and later transferred to North Carolina State, where he is now. Since then, he has come out again, as pansexual.
His future plans, in addition to continuing on as a LGBTQ+ activist, center around becoming a sports psychologist. Bain seeks to be the person he needed in his corner as a high school athlete.
“I realized that I wasn’t going to change and I didn’t want to change,” Bain states in the video. “When I started to love and accept myself for who I was, and when I was able to look in the mirror and say ‘Wow! I really love what I am looking at’, there was nothing that I would change.”