Indiana State student Jake Bain was featured on the “The Ellen Show” on Jan. 7. He was invited to Burbank, California, to be a guest on the show after his coming out story went viral on social media. Bain came out on stage at his high school in St. Louis.
“Telling my story on ‘The Ellen Show’ was so surreal, after introducing my story at my small school back home to announcing it publicly on ’The Ellen Show’ really has been a dream come true,” said Bain, who was captain of his high school football team and played for ISU during the 2018 season. “Having ‘The Ellen Show’ as a platform has been an amazing way to share my story.”
Producers of the show search the internet looking for story ideas to pitch to Ellen DeGeneres for content and guests on the show.
“I was in shock the day that Ellen’s head producer messaged me on Instagram saying that Ellen had interest in my story,” Bain said. “Everyone had always said it would be cool if I could go to ‘The Ellen Show’ and tell my story. That thought was always in the back of my head but I never expected for it to happen.”
On the show, Bain talked about being nervous when making the announcement at his school assembly, but said that the community at his high school was very supportive.
Since being featured on the show, Bain has been asked to speak at other events. He was invited to the Instagram headquarters in New York to speak at a private event, and the NCAA also invited Bain and a few other openly gay athletes to speak at an event.
Bain said he receives messages from all over the world from people asking about his story and for advice. “The amount of messages are overwhelming, but I always wanted to help people and be there for people who need support,” he said. “That was always my goal with coming out. I still haven’t gotten used to random people recognizing me in public and asking if I am the kid from ‘The Ellen Show.’”
Bain said he has had endless support from his parents and brothers along with his teammates and coaches. His coming out story and appearance on the show has inspired many people to be who they are and to tell their own stories.