Former Australian women’s rugby player Ellia Green has come out as a trans man and asked rugby fans as well as the wider community to respect the “liberating” decision.

The Australian Olympic champion claimed serious mental health issues since retiring from the sport last year was behind the move.

The announcement was made in a pre-recorded video shown at an international summit in Canada on ending homophobia and transphobia in sport.

“I promised myself that when my rugby career ended, I would continue to live the rest of my life in the identity and the body that I know I am meant to be in,” Green, a member of the Australian rugby sevens team that claimed gold at the 2016 Summer Olympics, said.

“I just knew it was going to be the most liberating feeling when I had that surgery and to be in the body I knew I had to be. That was a bright spark in my mind during these dark times facing demons, but I knew there was light at the end of the tunnel.”

The only other transgender Olympic gold medalists are Caitlyn Jenner, who transitioned nearly 40 years after winning gold at the 1976 Montreal Olympics, and Quinn, who goes by one name and was part of Canada’s winning women’s soccer team in Tokyo last year.

The 29-year-old Green has admitted to being in a “dark place” after retiring from rugby at the end of 2021.

“This is what happened to me,” Green told AP in an interview timed to coincide with the announcement. “Pretty much my rugby career ended and I had been in and out of mental health facilities for serious issues. My depression hit a new level of sadness.”

File/Ellia Green runs the ball during the 2020 Sydney Sevens Pool match between Australia and France at Bankwest Stadium on February 02, 2020 in Sydney, Australia. (Brett Hemmings/Getty)

Ellia Green with daughter Waitui in Sydney, Australia, Monday, Aug. 15, 2022. Green, one of the stars of Australia’s gold medal-winning women’s rugby sevens team at the 2016 Olympics, has transitioned to male. The 29-year-old, Fiji-born Green is going public in a video at an international summit in Ottawa as part of the Bingham Cup rugby tournament. (AP Photo/Mark Baker)

Green claims to be in a much better place now with partner, Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts, and their infant daughter, Waitui.

“Vanessa was pregnant and having to come to hospital to visit,” Green said. “I was having bad episodes. That’s the last time I want her to have to see me like that. But the only way to help heal is to talk about it . . . I’d like to help someone not feel so isolated by telling my story.”

The sport of rugby is currently grappling with transgender players and their level of participation in the sport.

The British Rugby Football Union for one is moving toward banning transgender athletes from competing among natural-born women, as Breitbart London reported.

The announcement last month of the ban came on the heels of a two-year review into the issue and, if approved by the RFU Council, could take effect this coming season.

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