The hockey player is the first tow come out as gay in Denmar. He joins Canada’s Brendan Burke and Sweden’s Lars Peter Karlsson making him the third out male hockey plater at a professional level in worldwide.
Twenty-four years ago, Karlsson was murdered in a suspected homophobic attack at the age of 29 in 1995.
Jon Lee-Olsen bravely said that he is ready for the backlash he will inevitably face as an out LGBT+ sports person.
“There’s a risk that some people might shout and heckle me while I’m playing matches,” he said.
“It’s something I have to be ready for and be mature about. But I feel that I’m ready to show that you can be gay and play ice hockey. It took longer than I expected, but now I’m ready to stand up for myself and others.”
Lee-Olsen said that he had been out to his teammates since August after years of trying to hide his sexuality fearing that he would be rejected, but he said their reaction was entirely supportive.
“They wrote that they had great respect for the fact that I dared to say it, and that I was still just me,” he said, adding that it’s made the group even closer.
“I think there is more openness among us now. Now we can talk freely about the same things from everyday life — without a filter.”
Since coming out, his teammates say his performance has improved. Living as his true self is having a positive impact on his sporting career.
“He’s playing better now,” said his teammate Nikolaj Rosenthal. “It is as if a stone has fallen from his heart.”
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