Handball player Jacob Bjørn Hessellund bravely comes out as gay and hopes to find a ‘wonderful man’

Jacob Bjørn Hessellund gestures on the court

Danish professional handball player Jacob Bjørn Hessellund has bravely come out as gay – and he hopes to one day find a “wonderful man”.

The 30-year-old, who plays for the Lemvig-based team Lemvig-Thyborøn Håndbold, became the second handball player in a month to come out as gay on Monday (23 May).

“Something has been filling my mind for a long time. Something I need to share,” he wrote in Danish in an Instagram post.

“I want to stand out and to an even greater extent by myself – and thus open up about my sexuality.

“I will, in all probability, not end up with a sweet girl but a wonderful man.”

Hessellund said everyone in his life, from his family and friends to teammates, has got his back. By sharing his truth publicly, he said, he hopes he can inspire more athletes to do the same.

“Hopefully in time it will not be necessary to have to come forward with your sexuality,” he wrote. “I myself have had so many amazing experiences in the sport of handball and still hope for many more.”

“Sports must be for all of us. You and me,” he added. “And I’m really still just me.”

In a plot twist, Hessellund came out as gay just a month after Norewigen handball player Dane Hoftun Lilleiuen did the same. The Drammen HK athlete shared his truth in a heartfelt Instagram in April – complete with his hope to find a “handsome boy”.

“I have been thinking for a long time about whether I should publish this post, but I now understand that it is something I want,” the 22-year-old wrote.

“Not for my own part, but to be a role model. Not just for young people, but for everyone.”

“Norway is boys who love boys, girls who love girls, and girls and boys who love each other,” Lillelien concluded. “As an athlete, I have only gotten to know warmth, joy and unity, and that’s what sport is all about! Sport has room for everyone, including you and me.

“Because I’m still just me, Ola.”

Many sports have over the years gotten gayer and gayer, to say the least. In Britain, 17-year-old professional footballer Jake Daniels, fearful that he would have to hide his truth for the rest of his career, defiantly came out as gay on 16 May.

He was the latest in a long line of sportspeople, including Carl Nassib, Luke Brokop, Irma TestaJosh Cavallo and many more to do something so simple yet still so unprecedented: Tell the world they are LGBTQ+.

“For me, it is not a ‘big deal’ who you love and are in love with,” Hessellund said.

“The most important thing in life is to be happy and to be able to be yourself.”