The Australian Football League has officially agreed to allow a transgender football player to play women’s football at state level, making Hannah Mouncey the first transgender woman to play in the league.
The 28-year-old who had previously played in Canberra’s local level is now permitted to play in the state of Victoria this year, with the decision being approved by the AFL’s general counsel.
Speaking on the decision, inclusion and social policy manager Tanya Hosch said, “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 the sport encourages other Australian football competitions to include transgender players in their community levels until a gender diversity policy is finalised.
Mouncey who began her gender transition in 2015, originally played for the Australian men’s handball team, representing the country a total of 22 times, prior to coming out.
Despite Mouncey’s inclusion in the AFL’s state-level competition, she will still not be able to play in the national women’s league this season. Mouncey was also stopped from entering last year’s women’s draft, despite previously playing for Ainslie in the Australian Capital Territory women’s league.
Commenting on Twitter, Mouncey explains, “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