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International News Highlights — Apr. 14, 2023

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Photo by Yossy Akinsanya
Photo by Yossy Akinsanya

Award-winning UK indie mag closes doors
London-based independent magazine gal-dem is shutting down after publishing the art and writing of Queer, BIPOC, and neurodivergent youth for eight years.

The publication cited structural and financial difficulties as the primary reason for closure.

"There was always a delicate balance to strike in marrying our values, rooted in our beginnings as a volunteer-led organization, with profitability that was needed to sustain and reinvest in the business, all while delivering groundbreaking creative work that served our community with an organizational structure that works," the staff said in a collective goodbye letter.

"It's a balance we committed to navigating carefully and responsibly, and while we're incredibly proud of the projects that we created, it also came with its own set of challenges."

gal-dem was founded in 2015 by London-born Liv Little. The magazine was popular enough that its first two issues sold out. It saw its fair share of hardship over the years, such as in 2020, when it lost over three-quarters of its advertising revenue to the COVID-19 pandemic. Back then, it managed to come back from the brink.

"We want to wholeheartedly thank everyone who was been a part of this journey with us — whether you have been a reader from the beginning, a party-goer from our early days, or a more recent member," the staff said.

German soccer policy lets Trans amateur players choose
This season the German football association DFB introduced a groundbreaking policy that allows Trans and Nonbinary players to choose between men's and women's teams in amateur and youth leagues.

DFB diversity ambassador Thomas Hitzlsperger said other football associations, like Scotland and Wales, had already reached out to learn more.

The policy had been in trials since 2019 and was implemented in 2022. Notably, it does not require Trans women to lower their testosterone levels to play on women's teams.

"Football is for all, and we've got to make sure that everybody who wants to play football is allowed to play football," Hitzlsperger told the BBC. He said that "it takes more than just being strong and fast, it takes skill and team effort to play football."

Since she transitioned three years ago, German footballer Charlotte Jerke has played as a defender for DFC Kreuzberg in Berlin.

"This new rule was just totally necessary because it was like a big gray box," she said. "No one knew where to put us, so now we know that we can decide."

"I know there are critics, but I don't think I have a physical advantage. I am not the fastest player, I am not the strongest player on my team. I wouldn't play football if I didn't have this team. I just feel so comfortable, so welcomed, so seen, and so appreciated."