The Australian Football League (AFL) ruled that transgender athlete Hannah Mouncey won’t be able to compete on the AFL women’s handball team, as was his original goal.
“I feel the game prides itself on being able to be played by anyone … I obviously don’t agree with what the AFL has done,” Mouncey told Peter Stefanovic in a Sunday exclusive, according to News.com.
The AFL defended its decision to bar Mouncey from competing with women by citing the Victorian Equal Opportunity Act, which states that officials can prevent athletes from competing if their physique, stamina or strength is relevant and gives them an unfair advantage.
“Of course I’m going to have a size advantage over some of the girls,” Mouncey told “60 Minutes” in an interview, but said that he should still be able to play and that the AFL’s decision is unjust.
Mouncey told Stefanovic that he didn’t realize until his late twenties that he was transgender, and said that he discovered his true self when he was seeing a psychologist for other reasons. Mouncey also said he has considered going back to being a man so he can have all his friends back and live a normal life, noting the difficulties of being transgender. “It’s not a choice, it’s just not. No one would choose that,” he said.
When the interviewer asked Mouncey whether he was attracted to males or females, he responded, “Oh yeah girls for sure, still am.”
Mouncey’s coach, Chris Rourke, said he had reservations about the size and strength of Mouncey in comparison to the other players. “Oh, the size obviously,” makes him nervous, Rourke told News.com.
“The AFL has made what I believe is the best judgment call in delaying Hannah’s attempt at joining the AFLW,” Aussie transgender Pentathlete star, Kirsti Miller, recently told The Australian.
Mouncey will, however, be allowed to play in the AFL 2018 draft, meaning that he may be able to qualify for the AFLW 2019 season.
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