Jake Bain, Out Former College Athlete, Says He’s ‘More At Peace’ Since Leaving Football

Out former college football player Jake Bain (image via Instagram)

Jake Bain, one of the first openly gay Division I college football players, tells Men’s Health Magazine he’s “more at peace” since leaving the sport a year ago.

Shortly after announcing he was ending his college football career last year, Bain also shared with his 38K Instagram followers that he was coming out (again) but as pansexual.

In an Instagram post, Bain admitted that when he came out to his classmates in 2017 as a high school junior in Missouri during National Coming Out Day, he wanted to send a message that “it was okay to be themselves and do whatever you put your mind to.”

At the end of that speech in front of a school assembly, his fellow students gave him a standing ovation. “It was me finally letting so much weight off my shoulders that I had been carrying for so long,” he says today.

But over time he’d come to realize that “gender does not effect” who he feels attracted to and that “love is something deeper than simply what gender we were given at birth.”

And so, he shared with his followers, “I am pansexual.”

 

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In the spirit of Pride month, I would like to take this opportunity to take a little of my own advice and share a bit of my true self. I hope that others will do the same who may feel afraid to be themselves because of what others will say. For as long as I can remember, I have always struggled with my sexual orientation. For years, I hid who I truly was and tried to fit into a mold I knew I didn’t belong. Finally, after years of struggling with my sexual orientation, I came to the decision to come out as gay, because I knew I needed to use my voice to show others that it was okay to be themselves and do whatever you set your mind to. But the truth is, my struggles with my sexual orientation did not stop there. Throughout my 20 years of life, I have come to realize that my sexual orientation is truly a spectrum, and the truth is, I have never really known where I fell on that spectrum until just a few months ago. After being labeled the “gay football player,” it made it very challenging for me to decide if I should let everyone falsely label me, or take my own advice and be my true self. After a lot of thought, I’ve decided to share with you all that I am Pansexual. I’ve come to the realization that gender does not effect who I am attracted to. To me, love is something deeper than simply what gender we were given at birth. I decided to sort of “come out” again because I felt like I needed to take some of my own advice for a change and just be myself, and I can’t tell you how good it feels to get that off my chest😌 Happy Pride!🏳️‍🌈 #loveislove #pride

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But after the loss of a childhood friend, Bain realized he needed to “take a step,” recalibrate and “figure out what is was exactly I wanted to do.”

Speaking to Men’s Health as part of The 2020 Project, which explores the lives of 20 different American 20-year-old men, Bain says he’s now studying to be a sports psychologist at North Carolina State University. He hopes to help other young athletes “find clarity” and perhaps some answers to other questions he has about his identity.

Over the past year, the handsome college student has focused on his studies and dabbled in modeling, sharing several thirsty snaps on his Instagram.

 

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Son of a beach☀️

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Get outside and enjoy the sunshine today💛

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This past July, he penned an essay for Teen Vogue chronicling his journey from coming out in high school to ‘here,’ and many of the ups and downs along the way.

“I began receiving calls and messages from people all over the country who said I was able to give them courage to be themselves,” he wrote of the period after he came out. “I never imagined I’d be able to reach and inspire so many people.”

But admitting it “wasn’t all rainbows,” he reflected on the “ton of hate” he received on and off the gridiron including becoming a target of the anti-LGBTQ Westboro Baptist Church. But when word got out that the hate group was coming to protest him, his school and community rallied to show their support.

Today, after years of making sports the focus of his life, he tells Men’s Health, “I certainly miss football sometimes.”

But, he quickly adds, “I feel more at peace and I definitely am happier than I was a year ago.”

(source: Men’s Health, Teen Vogue)

Guess Which “Star Wars” Character Is Pansexual?

Donald Glover as “Lando Calrissian”

In the trailer for the upcoming Solo: A Star Wars Story, the character of “Lando Calrissian” (played by Donald Glover) seems all friendly and flirty with just about everyone he encounters.

In one scene, Calrissian calls Han Solo “baby;” in another clip he says with a smile, “Everything you’ve heard about me is true.”

In the film, his female droid L3-37 shares, “I’m sure you noticed that Lando has feelings for me.”

You may recall Billy Dee Williams brought a similar winking sexuality to the character in Episodes V and VI of the Star Wars saga.

With that in mind, Bill Bradley of the Huffington Post asked the father/son screenwriting team of Solo – Jonathan and Lawrence Kasdan – in a recent interview if Lando is, indeed, pansexual.

“I would say yes,” Jonathan says. “He doesn’t make any hard and fast rules.”

“There’s a fluidity to Donald and Billy Dee’s (portrayal of Lando’s) sexuality,” he continued. “I mean, I would have loved to have gotten a more explicitly LGBT character into this movie. I think it’s time, certainly, for that, and I love the fluidity ― sort of the spectrum of sexuality – that Donald appeals to and that droids are a part of.”

While the writers may imply that Lando is sexually fluid, folks who have previewed the film say there’s nothing explicit to that point in the film.

Some of you may be wondering “What’s the difference between pansexual and bisexual?” Pansexuals are attracted to all gender identities (or are attracted regardless of gender identities) and bisexuals are attracted to more than one gender identity (but not all).

In the more than 4 decades of Star Wars films, LGBTQ fans have yet to see actual representation in the sci-fi films. It seems that as vast as the universe may be, there are only heterosexuals out in space.

Some Star Wars fans were hoping for more from Laura Dern’s character in Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo.

Last fall there was talk that an official tie-in novel, Leia: Princess of Alderaan released in September 2017, revealed Holdo to be the Star Wars universe’s first queer character.

In the book, Holdo mentions in a conversation about sex with Leia that she enjoys “a pair of pretty dark eyes.”

“A pair of pretty dark eyes.” Then Amilyn thought about that for a moment. “Or more than a pair, if you’re into Grans. Or Aqualish, or Talz. Or even —”

“That’s all right!” Leia said through laughter. “It’s just humanoid males for me.”

“Really? That feels so limiting.”

But, eventually LGBTQ Star Wars fans were disappointed again as there was nothing in The Last Jedi that shed any light on Holdo’s romantic life.

Hollywood has been doing this forever it seems.

Audiences were teased in the lead up to the release of last year’s Beauty and the Beast that there would be an “exclusively gay moment” for one of the film’s characters.

In the end, though, all LGBTQ audiences got were vague references to an unrequited crush on Gaston by Le Fou, and a fleeting, momentary shot of Le Fou dancing at the end of the film with a man.

Back in 2007, CNN reported that J.K. Rowling always thought of Hogwarts headmaster Albus Dumbledore as gay, a point that isn’t explained nor explored at all in the book.

Is it time for Hollywood to stop with the queer baiting LGBTQ audiences?

Solo: A Star Wars Story hits theaters May 25.

Rolling Stone: Janelle Monáe Comes Out As “Queer Black Woman”

In a new cover story interview for Rolling Stone, singer/actress Janelle Monáe comes out as “a queer black woman” and says she identifies as “pansexual.”

“Being a queer black woman in America,” she says, taking a breath as she comes out, “someone who has been in relationships with both men and women – I consider myself to be a free-ass motherfucker.” She initially identified as bisexual, she clarifies, “but then later I read about pansexuality and was like, ‘Oh, these are things that I identify with too.’ I’m open to learning more about who I am.”

As many have noted, Monáe’s latest music videos for her new album Dirty Computer have been filled with sexual themes and imagery.

Here’s her most recent, “PYNK.”

(h/t JoeMyGod)