Transgender footballer Hannah Mouncey has been cleared to play in state and territory women’s leagues in 2018, as the AFL finalises its gender diversity policy for the national league.
Mouncey has issued a lengthy statement on Twitter and also posted a YouTube video.
In welcoming the decision, she said it would be “highly inappropriate” to thank the AFL after they dragged their heels on the matter.
Mouncey also called for more health support for people going through gender transition, plus their family and friends.
“While I wholeheartedly thank those who supported me through this time, I will not and I think it would be inappropriate for me to thank the AFL for allowing me to do something open to every other Australian,” she said.
“The science and research has supported (this decision) all along.
“Had we simply gone by the research at the start, we could have avoided the whole saga that has taken place completely.
“I am however grateful that they took the time to look at this situation properly, as it is complex.”
— Hannah Mouncey 🤾♀️ (@HannahMouncey) February 13, 2018
The AFL blocked Mouncey from entering last year’s AFLW draft after she had played several games for Ainslie in the ACT women’s league.
She wants to play in Victoria against the state’s top AFLW talent this season.
The AFL said the decision to not let Mouncey enter the AFLW draft only applied to last year.
AFL general manager of inclusion and social policy, Tanya Hosch, said the league was seeking advice from the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Human Rights Commission on the issue.
“We are committed to inclusion, and want all Australians to be able to play or participate in our game,” she said.
“These are complex issues and we are considering expert opinion, international frameworks and feedback from the communities that are impacted by our decisions.”
Mouncey has been trolled on social media since the decision.
One user wrote: “Don’t listen to the haters hanna, I for one absolutely cannot wait to see a 100kg man plough through a pack of 45kg women.”
Another wrote: “It’s great to see you’re in the women’s league.. I would also like to smash tarts around the footy field and rack up 50 disposals.”
Mouncey said the battle for her had become about much more than just playing football.
“It became about making sure that I as a trans person am not treated any differently to anyone else, and neither is any other trans person out there,” she said.
“Yes, the AFL might prefer that I did not exist or chose to go and do something else, but that is not how it is, and we are not people to be ignored in the hope that will happen.”