AFL right to ban Hannah Mouncey, says transgender advocate

AFL right to ban Hannah Mouncey, says transgender advocate, by Chip Le Grand.

A prominent advocate for transgender athletes has backed an AFL decision to exclude Hannah Mouncey from its elite women’s competition due to her abnormal size and strength.

Kirsti Miller, a transgender sport trail blazer who represented Australia in modern pentathlon as a man before waging a four-year battle to be accepted as a female country footballer, said a tough stance was necessary to protect the integrity of women’s sport. …

The AFL’s principal reason for excluding Ms Mouncey from today’s AFLW draft is the residual strength and physical size she has from her previous life as a male athlete.

Before transitioning to female two years ago, Ms Mouncey represented Australia in men’s handball. Although her testosterone levels are below the International Olympic Committee limit for transgender athletes, she is a muscular 100kg and 190cm tall.

As part of its deliberations, the AFL compared Ms Mouncey’s strength and body mass to other women playing in the AFLW. A source described her test results as “off the charts’.’

The main point of having women’s sport instead of all-sex competitions is so that women can play sport without being out-muscled by men. In that spirit, preventing Hannah from playing in the AFL seems fair enough. So why is her Canberra football league allowing her to play? The purists are not happy though:

Caroline Layt, a schoolboy athletics champion who represented NSW in state of origin rugby league and Australia in track and field after transitioning to female, said the AFL decision sent a conflicting message to transgender people and exposed the league to legal challenge.

“It just saddens me that we really haven’t advanced,’’ she said. “If you are transgender you can play sport at a community level but don’t aspire to live out your dreams and goals and don’t aim too high because we won’t allow you to do that.”

hat-tip Stephen Neil