Transgender football player Hannah Mouncey has broken her silence over her controversial bid to join the AFL’s elite women’s competition.
In an intimate 60 Minutes interview this Sunday, Hannah faces off against her critics and explains why she deserves to compete as a woman against the nation’s best.
Hannah, who is 190cm and 100kg, dismisses concerns her size and strength give her an unfair advantage.
“Of course I’m going to have a size advantage over some of the girls,” the 28-year-old tells 60 Minutes reporter Peter Stefanovic.
“But I feel the game prides itself on being able to be played by anyone – whether it be little rovers, or your ruck man, or your full forward and forward pocket.
Transgender football player Hannah Mouncey has broken her silence. (60 Minutes) ()Mouncey has dismissed the notion she has an advantage. (60 Minutes) ()
“So, yes, some of them, I’m going to be bigger than. But some, not really.”
Hannah once represented Australia at handball as a man. She transitioned to life as a woman two years ago and started playing Aussie Rules as a female for Ainslie Football Club in Canberra this year.
She tells Stefanovic she was approached by three AFL clubs interested in signing her for the AFLW and had been given approval to play in the top-tier national competition.
But on the eve of the AFLW draft, the league’s administrators had a change of heart, ruling she had an unfair advantage over other women in the league.
“I obviously don’t agree with what the AFL has done,” Hannah said.
According to IOC guidelines, which are accepted by the AFL, Hannah’s testosterone levels need to be under 10 nanomoles for every litre of blood to qualify to compete as a woman.
Mouncey has faced off against her critics. (60 Minutes) ()Peter Stefanovic spoke to Hannah Mouncey. (60 Minutes) ()
She says her levels are now at just 0.05, meaning she has no residual benefits from her time as a man.
But the AFL ruled she was ineligible to play, 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”.
“The AFL sought advice and information from a range of organisations on the issue of transgender participation at the elite level of sport, as well as being responsible to the Australian anti-discrimination legislation,” the AFL’s administrator said in a statement.
“There are specific issues to be considered with some transgender players involving safety and competitiveness, issues linked to individual circumstances.
“This is recognised at the national and international level in sport.
“The AFL will work with the Human Rights Commission and the Australian Sports Commission to develop a policy, but the most important issue is that each case will be decided by taking into account individual circumstances.
“This was a not a decision to stop transgender people playing the game.”
This Sunday Stefanovic enters the heated debate surrounding Hannah’s sporting career.
Speaking to Hannah’s coach, medical professionals and sporting experts, the report investigates whether a transgender athlete should be accepted into the league, and also the need for all sports to develop a transgender policy.
“Girl power” airs this Sunday on 60 Minutes, 8.30pm on Channel 9. For more on 60 Minutes, visit: the Extra Minutes website.