Transgender footballer Hannah Mouncey has said she doesn’t agree with the AFL’s decision to block her from this year’s AFLW draft because of concerns over her size.
Officials said the decision was based on the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act, which states that athletes can be discriminated against based on their sex or gender “if strength, stamina or physique is relevant”.
But Mouncey told 60 Minutes the game welcomed many different body shapes and she believed the AFL were scared she’d get stronger while training with an elite women’s team.
“Of course I’m going to have a size advantage over some of the girls,” she told 60 Minutes’s Peter Stefanovic.
“But I feel the game prides itself on being able to be played by anyone – whether it be little rovers, or your ruckman, or your full-forward and forward pocket.
“So, yes, some of them, I’m going to be bigger than. But some, not really. I obviously don’t agree with what the AFL has done. There’s a dozen girls of my height. I was the tallest within a couple of centimetres.”
She continued: “I think the biggest issue is not necessarily that I’m too big or too strong now.
“It’s more, ‘OK, you’re already big, you’re already strong, whatever. But what if you were to get into that elite training environment and they were to build you up, put on an extra 15 kilos and you just push everyone aside.’ Physiologically, that’s just not going to happen.”
Mouncey formerly represented Australia in men’s handball, and told 60 Minutes she discovered she was trangender earlier in her twenties and had fully transitioned with the help of a daily supplement plan.
“I didn’t realise until I was a lot older. I was seeing a psychologist for different things and that’s how it sort of came out … it’s not a decision, it’s just not,” she said.
“It’s difficult. It’s even been to the point where I thought, if I could just make this better for everyone else, have all my friends back, go back to being Cullen… the thing is I just can’t.
“I know if I was to do that I’d be just as miserable as I was before. It’s not a choice.
“I take four pills a day. Oestrogen and an anti-androgen. That’s pretty much it.”
Mouncey’s testosterone levels are under the limit required to compete in the Olympics, and LGBTI advocates hope she’s the last transgender player to be ruled ineligible for the AFL draft.
While the AFL ruled against her last month, Mouncey was cleared to compete in community level competitions.
She’ll continue to play with Canberra’s Ainslie club in the state competition next year and will be able to nominate for next year’s AFLW draft.