‘Pulls no punches’: Dani Laidley tells story in new documentary

Danielle Laidley documentary on Stan
Image: Stan

Former AFL player and coach Danielle Laidley says an upcoming documentary streaming on Stan “won’t pull any punches” in chronicling the highs and lows of her life.

The new Stan documentary Revealed – Danielle Laidley: Two Tribes will premiere on Tuesday, September 19.

​Danielle Laidley (above right), who is transgender, had a very successful men’s AFL football career. She played 151 games for the West Coast Eagles and North Melbourne football clubs. Her career included an AFL premiership with the Kangaroos in 1996.

Danielle later went on to become one of the league’s youngest-ever head coaches at just 36.

But despite her success on the field, she faced a private, lifelong battle with gender dysphoria off the field.

“I hated who I was,” Laidley says in the documentary’s trailer.

“In the AFL it was always, ‘He’s the gay footballer’, and I would think, ‘You wait until you hear about me’.”

In 2020, Danielle’s life spiralled as she was arrested under accusations of stalking amid a drug addiction battle.

A Victorian police officer leaked photos of Danielle in custody. The photos were then published on newspaper front pages, publicly outing Danielle as transgender.

Danielle never got the opportunity to privately share her gender transition with family and friends.

At her lowest point, she reunited with lifelong friend and now-partner Donna Leckie who became her “rock” and confidante over a tough 12-month period.

“There’s no doubt that the people around me and the AFL saved my life,” Laidley says.

“I’m proud of who I am and who I’m becoming. I’ve always felt on the inside how I appear now on the outside, so what you see now is me.”

‘This story won’t pull any punches’

The new Stan documentary Revealed – Danielle Laidley: Two Tribes will chronicle Danielle’s life from her childhood in Perth to her sports career to her gender transition.

For the film, cameras also captured the emotional moments Danielle faces her family and friends for the first time.

“It’s with nervous anticipation that I share my story with Australia,” Danielle Laidley said in a statement.

“It hasn’t been the easiest path, but I’ve made some treasured memories along the way, and met some incredible people.

“This story won’t pull any punches. You’ll see me at my lowest points and at my highest, surrounded by those whom I care about most who stood by me through it all.

“My truth is becoming an increasingly common one in today’s society, and highlights the need for greater inclusivity, understanding and acceptance.”

The documentary Revealed – Danielle Laidley: Two Tribes will premiere on Stan on September 19.

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Jordan Hirst
Jordan Hirst

Jordan Hirst is an experienced journalist and content creator with a career spanning over a decade at QNews. Since 2012, the Brisbane local has covered an enormous range of topics and subjects in-depth affecting the LGBTIQA+ community, both in Australia and overseas. Today, the Brisbane-based journalist covers everything from current affairs, politics and health to sport and entertainment.

QNews, Brisbane Gay, App, Gay App, LGBTI, LGBTI News, Gay Australia

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