The rugby star and Olympic gold medalist wants to help level the playing field for trans athletes…
Australian rugby league player Ellia Green has publicly announced his transition, making history as the first trans man Olympian.
The retired Olympic rugby sevens gold medalist made an uplifting video for the Bingham Cup, the biennial world championships of gay and inclusive rugby. In the video that was played during the “Transphobia and Homophobia in Sport” portion of a summit hosted during the queer rugby tournament in Ottawa, Green laid out the details of how he transitioned in the wake of his rugby career, which saw him win gold at the 2016 Olympics in Rio de Janeiro and silver at the 2018 Commonwealth Games in Australia. He also discussed his own coming to terms with his identity, as well as why he decided to go public.
“One promise that I made to myself (is) that when my rugby career ended, I would continue to live the rest of my life in the identity, in the body that I should have,” he said. Green also discussed the “daunting” task in revealing his transition to the public.
“That’s a really difficult thing to do in this time and day,” he said. “All you have to do is turn on the TV, look on social media platforms, and you can see the amount of bullying, harm and discrimination that goes on about gender identities. It’s extremely harmful.”
Following his retirement from the sport late last year, Green found himself “in and out of mental health facilities for serious issues.”
“I was having bad episodes … But the only way to help heal is to talk about it,” he said. “I’d like to help someone not feel so isolated by telling my story.”
Green now has a 6-month-old child with his partner.
Green joins a small, but growing assemblage of transgender and nonbinary Olympians: weightlifter Laurel Hubbard, BMX racer Chelsea Wolfe, soccer star Quinn, skateboarder Alana Smith, and Caitlyn Jenner.
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