Footy player Hannah Mouncey’s controversial banning from the women’s AFL competition made headlines last year. She recently spoke to Jess Jones about how the decision made her homeless, as well as trans inclusion in sport.
Hannah Mouncey doesn’t have much of an answer when I ask where she’s based right now – the trans footballer has been homeless since last year’s debacle over whether she could play women’s AFL made her future uncertain.
However, an eleventh-hour decision by the league banned her from the draft and left her unable to play for the ACT league without official approval, which she says hasn’t been forthcoming.
“For a long time they were sort of pretending that I didn’t exist,” says Mouncey.
Unable to commit to staying or moving, and with no source of income, she has been keeping a roof over her head by house-sitting wherever she can.
“Finding a job and somewhere to live when you’re trans is hard enough,” she says.
Mouncey tells me the trouble with the league and its impact on her life have been a tremendous stress.
“To be honest, I’m pretty over it all,” she sighs.
“It was abhorrent. The way they treated me was pretty bad. There was no thought given to how it might affect me.
“The AFL doesn’t consider the effects of their decision, especially at such a late stage.
“Had I known… I would have found somewhere to live in Canberra while I still had a job.”
The league is reportedly now undertaking the process of developing a formal policy for the inclusion of trans players.
Despite the administrative difficulties, Mouncey says the sport itself has been overwhelmingly inclusive and welcoming.
“Sport is the most accepting place I’ve found yet,” she says.
“It’s been incredible. Honestly, the players are all great.
“A lot of sports, especially the football codes, get a bit of bad rap but it’s not necessarily so.”
She might be down right now, but Mouncey assures me sport hasn’t seen the last of her. She’s working with Proud 2 Play to promote LGBTI inclusion in sport, and planning a return to football in the future.
Mouncey has just launched her new book, Valkyrja, on Amazon Kindle. It tells the story of her journey from a sport-obsessed childhood to her sporting career and gender transition in her mid-20s.
She hopes her book will help people better understand trans experiences, whether they are cis or trans themselves.
“It’s really to educate people, using my story and my experiences,” she says.
“Hopefully it does that.”