German Goalkeeper Nadine Angerer Comes Out as Bisexual
Germany has emerged as one of the world’s forefront progressive forces in promoting the acceptance and embrace of homosexuality in football. The campaign to fight homophobia has been bolstered by yet another brave, positive example in German football, as the veteran goalkeeper for the women’s team, Nadine Angerer, has openly revealed that she is bisexual.
“I am very open about this, because I am of the opinion there are nice guys and nice women,” 32-year-old Angerer told German newspapers, Die Zeit and Bild. “Besides, I find it totally silly to have a general definition,” she added, combatting the heteronormative prejudice that, lamentably, continues to pervade the culture of football.
Angerer is a heroine to young footballers the world over, having won 94 caps for the national team which have become world champions in the last two consecutive Women’s World Cups and will be challenging for a record third title in Germany next year. Her decision to come out as bisexual is particularly inspiring as she has reinforced the fact that heterosexuality should not be considered a given in football, just as it should not be considered a given elsewhere.
“I do not know if you need a special kind of courage,” she said modestly of her decision. “I am someone who is generally opposed to stereotyped thinking. I see no problem for me to come out of the closet. This is nothing new for me, so I can deal with the issue in a totally relaxed manner.”
The number 1 for both Germany and FFC Frankfurt, Angerer joins a group of proactive German footballers and football fans speaking out in support of greater acceptance of homosexuality and bisexuality in football.
Only two weeks ago, Bayern Munich striker Mario Gomez argued that “Being gay should no longer be a taboo topic,” claiming that being more open about their sexuality would improve players’ performances and should thus be encouraged. “They would play as if they had been liberated,” he said, emphasising the link between the eradication of heteronormativity and the fundamental concept of freedom.
German amateur football player, Marcus Urban, has also made headlines for the publication of his rousing 2008 biography, ‘Versteckspieler’, in which his struggles with homophobia as a gay player are revealed. He is today a co-founder of the specialist network ‘Football Against Homophobia’, and is working on seeing his story translated into film.
Germany is also home to Dino Bernabeo and Niko Schleicher, filmmakers from Bremen whose documentary ‘From the Offside’ is a much-needed, eye-opening account of gay and lesbian football players in Germany’s amateur leagues.
Efforts such as those made by the likes of Gomez, Urban, Bernabeo and Schleicher, and now Nadine Angerer, should be applauded as courageous, refreshing and progressive moves toward greater understanding and acceptance of homosexuality and bisexuality in football.