Finding “out and proud” male footballers can be difficult. In men’s profession it is unheard of, but in female football we are seeing glimpses of out professional player stepping forward and out of the closet.
Here is our list of top ten professional women footballers who are out and proud.
1. Lianne Sanderson
Lianne Sanderson, hails from Lewisham in England, and has played for the English national team from 2006 – 2014. Professional she has played two seasons with the Philadelphia Independence, Arsenal Ladies and currently plays for Boston Breakers.
2. Jessica Landström
In 2008 Landström came out in the pages of Swedish magazine QX, where she spoke about being out to family and friends and why she felt it was important to also come out publicly.
3. Isabell Herlovsen
Isabell Herlovsen has footballing DNA body, as her father is former football player Kai Erik Herlovsen. The 25-year-old made her debut for the Norwegian national team at just 16. In 2011 she came out in an interview with Norwegian TV2. She said she came out to family and friends as a teenager and felt it was important to be open about it.
4. Trine Ronning
The Norwegian defender made her debut for her national team in 1999, and in 2009 she became team vice-captain. In January 2009, she married teammate Kristin Blystad Bjerke shortly after same-sex marriage became legal in Norway.
5. Nadine Angerer
Angerer made her international debut in 1997 and gone on to be in Germany’s starting goalkeeper in the 2007 Women’s World Cup and 2008 Olympics. She told the German newspaper Die Zeit 2010 that she is bisexual, saying, “I am very open about this, because I am of the opinion there are nice guys and nice women. Besides, I find it totally silly to have a general definition… 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.”
6. Linda Bresonik
Position: Defensive Midfielder, Wing Back
Linda Bresonik is a German footballer. She plays as a defensive midfielder and sometimes wing back for Paris Saint-Germain and the German national team. In 2010 she was involved with a bizarre Love Triangle with former West German international and Borussia Mönchengladbach coach Holger Fach and German women’s team mate, Inka Grings. Grings and Bresonik had been together for five years, but when they broke up, and then Fach started seeing Grings. Then Bresonik appeared back on the scene, saying: “Inka was my first love and I will fight for her. The pain in my soul overwhelms. Fach came between us: now Inka must decide.” In the end, Grings split up with Fach – and he ended up with Bresonik.
7. Inka Grings
Inka Grings is a German international footballer. She played sixteen years as a striker for FCR 2001 Duisburg, and today she plays for FC Zürich Frauen. She has also played for the German national team, and was involved in a well-publicized love triangle with Linda Bresonik and Holger Fachs. The teammates have since broken up but continue to compete together on the World Cup stage.
8. Ursula Holl
Holl is a German footballer. She plays for FCR 2001 Duisburg and the German national team as a goalkeeper. In June 2010 she married her partner – Carina. She told the German newspaper Bild that her family were very happy when they heard the couple would marry and their wedding was a joyous affair. She also said her being out has “not been an issue at all” with fellow players and opponents.
9. Joanna Lohman
Joanna Lohman is an American professional soccer player who plays for Cypriot First Division club Apollon Limassol, on loan from the Boston Breakers of the American National Women’s Soccer League.
10. Sarah Walsh
Sarah Walsh is a retired Australian football player who most recently captained Western Sydney Wanderers FC in Australia’s W-League. She is a former member of the Australia women’s national association football team.