With the Women’s World Cup just ending, the high-profile event has brought attention to issues for gay female players. In contrast to the news coverage of the Nigerian women’s national team, who claimed to have ‘cleansed’ their team of lesbian players, the current FIFA #2 ranked-team, Germany has taken a more accepting view of homosexuals in football as a national team and as a host country.
Previously, we had reported about some male German national team players that have spoken out in support of gay players [Gomez
]. The German women’s national team has had several lesbian or bisexual players in their ranks come out in recent years, which the German Football Association (DFB) hopes can pave the way for gay players in the men’s game. “The women are kind of an icebreaker in this sense, and we have always supported them,” said Theo Zwanziger, DFB president, “But ultimately it is up to every individual to decide whether to keep things private or open up to the public. “ That sentiment is echoed by the current women’s team manager Doris Fitschen, “No one is forbidden from coming out, and I’m convinced that such a player would face no disadvantage.”
Prominent players like goalkeeper(s) Nadine Angerer and Ursula Holl have come out publicly, with Holl even marrying her partner recently. But former player and current activist Tanja Walther-Ahrens notes that some still see homosexuality “as a sickness” and that the taboo of homosexuality does have an effect on the game. She believes that “more girls and women would play if this lesbian cliché did not exist.” But given the strides taken by her own country and football team, she still holds some optimism, noting, “Football is a reflection of society, and if we can change something here, maybe we can change society, too.”