Hannah Mouncey Becomes First Transgender Woman To Play In Australian Football League
Hannah Mouncey becomes the first transgender woman permitted to play in the Australian Football League’s women’s team…
For the first time in history, the Australian Football League has agreed to allow a transgender football player to play women’s football at state level. Hannah Mouncey, 28, previously played in Canberra’s local level, and is permitted to play in the state of Victoria this year.
The decision to permit Mouncey to play was approved by the AFL’s general counsel, Andrew Dillon, and inclusion and social policy manager Tanya Hosch. Hosch commented: “We are committed to inclusion and want all Australians to be able to play or participate in our game. These are complex issues and we are considering expert opinion, international frameworks and feedback from the communities that are impacted by our decisions.”
The AFL went on to comment that it encouraged other Australian football competitions to include transgender players in their community levels until a gender diversity policy is finalised.
Mouncey began her gender transition in 2015. Before coming out, she played for the Australian men’s handball team, representing the country a total of 22 times.
Despite Mouncey’s inclusion in the AFL’s state level, she will still not be allowed to play in the national women’s league this season. She was also prevented from entering last year’s women’s draft, although she previously played for Ainslie in the Australian Capital Territory women’s league.
Mouncey commented in a lengthy post on Twitter: “I welcome the AFL’s decision, and I look forward to hopefully playing this season. And while I wholeheartedly thank those who have supported me through this time, I will not, and I think it would be highly inappropriate for me to thank the AFL for allowing me to do something open to every other Australian, which the science and research has supported all along.”
— Hannah Mouncey ♀️ (@HannahMouncey) February 13, 2018
Mouncey stated that the subject has become more than her ability to play in the AFL’s women’s league, and that the problems demonstrate a lack of understanding surrounding gender transition. She has also issued a call for health support for the transgender community.
The AFL stated it is seeking advice from the Australian Sports Commission and the Australian Human Rights Commission on how to handle the issue.
Australian football is a contact sport that bears similarities with the sport rugby. The game is played on an oval-shaped field and consists of two teams with 18 players each.
Australian football is the most popular sport in Australia, where it generates the highest spectator attendance and highest number of television viewers.