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International News Highlights — February 3, 2023

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Campbell Johnstone — Photo courtesy of campbelljohnstone.nz / Instagram
Campbell Johnstone — Photo courtesy of campbelljohnstone.nz / Instagram

New Zealand national rugby frontliner comes out
Former professional rugby player Campbell Johnstone, of New Zealand's national rugby union team, the All Blacks, came out as Gay in a TV interview with Hilary Barry on Seven Sharp, making him one of the first to do so for the team.

"If I can be the first All Black that comes out as Gay and take away the pressure and the stigma surrounding the issue, it can actually help other people," the former prop said.

"My view of an All Black was manly, strong, possibly with a wife and kids," he went on. "I pushed that side of me down deeper and deeper... I may have had a bad game and blamed that side of me, you know, and it slowly starts to affect you."

His advice to other closeted athletes was this: "There's no rule or law about coming out. You don't have to come out. If you feel it's not right for you, then don't.

"The idea of an ideal rugby player is of an honest, strong person, and if you can make yourself stronger by relieving anxiety and stress, then you will fit that mold."

Scotland reviews Trans inmate policies
Scotland has been moving on new measures regarding Trans inmates, with the intent to stop Trans people with a history of violence against women being placed in female prisons.

"We must not allow any suggestion to take root that Trans women pose an inherent threat to women," said the Scottish justice minister, Keith Brown. "Predatory men are the risk to women. However, as with any group in society, a small number of Trans women will offend and be sent to prison."

"I hope that the measures... will offer reassurance in the ongoing ability of the prison service to manage Trans individuals and ensure the safety of all prisoners."

Brown added that the Scottish Prison Service's policies had not been changed specifically by the passage of the Gender Recognition Reform Bill, which would have supported easier self-ID if the British government hadn't blocked it.