Australian Women Take a Stand, Block Trans Athlete from Joining National Handball Team

Getty Images/Kelly Defina

Australian transgender handball player Hanna Mouncey is lashing out after being excluded from the national women’s team, because several of the female athletes did not want to share shower space with him.

Mouncey claims that several members of the team, as well as the team’s manager, said they did not want the player who was born a man changing with them and showering with them in the locker room facilities in Japan.

“I can confirm that yes, I was left out of the team for the World Championships because there was a group of players within the team, supported by the team manager, who did not want me showering or using the change rooms before or after the game. This was, in turn, the sole reason given to me by our coach for my non-selection,” Mouncey wrote in an op-ed for the Star Observer.

“In this same conversation, it was clear that our coach knew what she was doing would not be received well,” Mouncey continued. “Despite the fact that prior to selection, I passed every fitness test given to me with relative ease, she assured me that she would tell people that I wasn’t fit to play rather than the actual reason just given. She even acknowledged in that conversation how well I’d done in my rehab to warrant selection if the change room issue hadn’t been a factor.”

Mouncey added that he had confirmed from another player who told him in private that he was excluded for the reason stated above.

The player who has been seen seriously overpowering female players in the sport also said that he might have been on the team if he has “stayed quiet” and not spoken up about being mistreated merely because he is a trans athlete.

“Yes, I would be playing in a World Championship right now if I had given in and accepted the quite frankly ludicrous requests made by the team manager both on his own behalf and those players he represented,” he complained.

But others felt the exclusion was the proper course.

Kirralie Smith, a spokesperson for the women’s group Binary, celebrated the exclusion of the six-foot-two, 220-pound Mouncey from the women’s national team.

“What a great example the women in this team, supported by their manager, have been,” Smith said. “These women have every right to expect female-only areas to shower and change. They are brave, and they are right to exclude males from their private spaces. These women should be upheld as role models for female athletes everywhere.”

Follow Warner Todd Huston on


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.