ST. LOUIS (KMOX) – Less than four years ago, Jake Bain never expected he could live comfortably if everyone knew his secret. He is gay and his is also a three-sport athlete at John Burroughs School. Now his story is so public that it will hopefully inspire others to be as open as him.
Bain will be recognized before Tuesday night’s St. Louis Blues game, which is the 2nd annual Pride Night at Scottrade Center. The senior football, basketball, and track and field star became national news in December when he signed a D-I football scholarship with the Indiana State Sycamores.
He had just come out as gay, telling his story at an all-school assembly, in October.
“It was definitely scary at first,” Bain told KMOX’s Tom Ackerman. “I knew that I was kind of putting a target on my back. This was a time where recruiting was really starting to rev up for me and there really haven’t been many openly gay athletes that have played college sports, in any sport, let alone football.”
Bain was the Class 3 offensive player of the year in Missouri as a sophomore – after winning a state championship that season. Then he was selected as a team captain for his junior and senior seasons.
He says he knew the Burroughs community would be behind him 100 percent. But he knows that’s not the case for everyone.
“When people discriminate towards the LGBT community, a lot of the time these are people who haven’t actually met someone who is gay,” Bain says. “When people realize that they are just as normal as anyone else, that they are the same type of wonderful people that you would expect of anyone else, when people can realize that, that’s when it becomes a really special moment.”
Bain’s part in Pride Night is a small story of a much larger focus. Leaders in St. Louis’ LGBT community will be at the game, to listen to Blues and fans and answer questions. And they’ll be there to show they’re support for the Blues.
There will be information available for those looking to help and become a bigger part of the LGBT community. And for any fan who buys a theme ticket, they’ll receive a Blues Pride Night themed hat.
The Blues host the Minnesota Wild at 7 p.m., Tuesday. Hear it on KMOX 1120 AM or KMOX.com/listen.