Kick Like a Girl: The AFL Supported Marriage Equality, So Why Aren’t They on Board with Gender Equality?
Kick Like a Girl host Kate O’Halloran talks about some of the important issues trans people face within both community and elite-level sports – particularly within the AFL and AFLW leagues – with guests Emily Fox, a proud trans woman and player with St Kilda Sharks, and Carter O’Reagen from Kew Football Club.
Playing at a community level, Emily’s current and former clubs have been very supportive. There have been a few times when people have told Emily she’s not welcome, but she brushes this off with, ‘You don’t change minds by pushing people away; you change minds by putting your arm around them and bringing them on the journey.’
As a trans man playing for the Kew Football Club, Carter says that he feels like he belongs in the team despite the contact aspect of the sport being a bit of a challenge. Carter is physically a lot smaller than the other players but doesn’t feel he shouldn’t be treated any differently. Regarding safety in contact sport, Carter says, ’Football’s a contact sport – injuries may happen. Whether you’re transgender or cisgender, everyone’s just taking the same risks.’
As for the policies put in place for transgender and non-binary people, the AFL is lagging behind, making up their own rules based on their own prejudices. Says Emily, ‘It is a challenge for gender non-binary people to just to get validation as human beings and the way they want to live their best lives. They shouldn’t be denied a place in the sporting space.’