Swedish American football wide receiver Marcus Juhlin has come out as gay in the latest issue of QX, Sweden's largest gay publication. Juhlin, 22, is from Karlstad, about three hours west of Stockholm. He plays for the Carlstad Crusaders. The Crusaders have won four straight national championships.

According to the magazine (via Google translator, of course):

I've known me since I was in middle school that I was not like everyone else, says Marcus. It's hard to explain, but I had one of those "ask chance on" girlfriend in sixth grade, but it never felt right. It was fun to hang out with my guy friends over to kiss her and hold her hand. Girls were boring and I know that I thought "I can not spend a whole life with a girl"

He says he was inspired by Michael Sam to come out, yet he had written this note to the editors of QX in December (about two months before Sam came out):

Why do I write this text to you? Well .. I want people to see that I, like everyone else, is a man. A gay man who now do not care about everything I previously thought and now wants to step forward as a proud gay even though I compete and train in the highest Swedish level in one of the more manly sports there. I'm already who I want to be. The one I always have been. But I no longer want to stand with the closet open, ready to jump into it when I need to. Help me turn off the crap and take a step towards a better, more enjoyable life without limitations! " And so it had to be.

American football is not a particularly popular sport in Sweden, akin somewhat to rugby in the United States.

Watch his on-field highlights via hudl. You can find Juhlin on Twitter @MarcusJuhlin.

Hat tip to Jerry Portwood at Out magazine.

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