Swedish gay footballer Anton Hysén speaks out

Anton Hysén, the 20-year-old Swedish footballer who came out earlier this month has been talking to the UK's Guardian Newspaper about why he came out and what the reaction has been.

He is only the second high-level footballer to come out in the world, ever and as he himself said when he came out in Offside magazine: "It is completely strange, isn't it? It's all fucked up. Where the hell are all the others? No one is coming out."

There was one before however. English footballer Justin Fashanu revealed he was gay in 1990. Tragically, he found himself shunned by the footballing world, including his brother, John, and hanged himself eight years later. (John later expressed his remorse.)

Hysén himself thinks things are different for him, saying that for Fashanu "his teammates and his brother turned their backs on him. That's the biggest tragedy."

Things are different for Hysén, however. A coach at his club said to him "I support you 100%. If anybody else says anything we'll kick them out. Just do your thing." Of his teammates, Hysén says "everyone is positive. Everyone."

Does this mean that we are closer to seeing a top flight footballer in a major league announcing that they are gay? If they are thinking about it, Hysén offers to help, saying "if there's anyone afraid of coming out they should give me a call."

In particular, Hysén would also like to see players in England's Premier League (where his father used to play) sticking up for gay colleagues. "If you're a real man in the Premier League you'd say, 'If you've got a problem, call me.' There has to be some way – whoever plays in the Premier League should try to support them."

But what about his personal life? Hysén is not dating anyone and says he would "just laugh" if future romances were reported in the press. The media "can say whatever they want as long as it's not bullshit".

Of course, it is likely that he will become a role model for gay youngsters, particularly those who don't associate themselves with the gay stereotypes portrayed in the mainstream media. Given that he seems like an eminently sensible young man, with a thoroughly down to earth attitude, that won't be a bad thing.

Date: 29 March 2011


Bravo! We need more people like Anton
outandabout, London - 29 March 2011 09:21 PM

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