'500 death threats': Transgender footballer's nightmare struggle

Hannah Mouncey has revealed the awful toll her battle to play in the AFL women’s league has taken on her.

In February, the AFL announced that Mouncey could play in local women’s leagues as its gender diversity policy is finalised.

That decision came after the AFL had blocked Mouncey from entering last year’s AFLW draft after she had played for Ainslie in the ACT women’s league.

She now plays for the Darebin Falcons in Victoria against the state’s top VFLW talent.

But on International Day Against Homophobia, Biphobia, Intersexism and Transphobia (IDAHOBIT), Mouncey has opened up about her nightmare.

According to Fox Footy, she’s received 500 death threats via email since being allowed to play local footy.

Mouncey has spoken out. Image: Twitter

On Thursday, she took aim at the AFL’s handling of her case, saying they “didn’t care” that her testosterone was decreased medically to a point where it was lower than the average female.

“The AFL’s entire process for judging whether I could play was asking what I could benchpress, what I could squat and what I could dead lift,” Mouncey said.

“That was it. I met with them, had conversations and informed them what the IOC policy is and offered them my blood test results for my testosterone levels. But they didn’t care.”

Mouncey played men’s handball for Australia before starting her gender transition.

She was particularly annoyed by comments from Carlton great Chris Judd recently, supporting the decision to block her from the AFLW draft.

“It’s an issue that’s got to be tackled with sensitivity because of the personal journey the transgender community goes through which is something we’ll forever find hard to understand,” Judd said on Footy Classified.

“That doesn’t mean that it should change the fairness of women’s sport or potentially the safety if you’re playing a contact sport.

“Purely, the level of testosterone that transgender women grow up with for 20-plus years puts them at a distinct advantage to put down muscle bulk, create power that other females athletes don’t have and I think the AFL were right in not allowing Hannah to play in the AFLW.”

Mouncey says comments like Judd’s have the potential to cause more harm than good.

“Those commenting on trans people and their place in society – as Chris Judd has recently – really need to be careful about the potential impact this has, as well as ensuring that what they have to say is informed,” she wrote in a column for The Guardian.

“Every negative comment in the media, whether directed towards a specific person or not, is incredibly harmful to the entire trans community.

“And this isn’t just restricted to those of us of an age where we can engage thoughtfully with the media; it’s the message it sends to trans kids that is truly damaging.

“They largely don’t have the ability to recognise who is or isn’t worth listening too; instead they take it all in like a sponge and absorb every negative comment they might come across.”

Earlier this year, Mouncey called for more health support for people going through gender transition, plus their family and friends.

She also feels that the issue became much more than her bid to play in an AFL women’s competition.

with AAP