Footballer Hannah Mouncey, trans advocate Michelle Sheppard, and non-binary activist Joe Ball were invited to speak to the club about LGBTI inclusion.


A trio of trans and non-binary activists have spoken to players and staff at the Essendon Bombers football club about the impact of visibility in sport.

Trans footballer Hannah Mouncey, advocate Michelle Sheppard, and non-binary activist and Switchboard CEO Joe Ball were invited to speak to the club thanks to the organisation of Jason Tuazon-McCheyne, head of the Essendon LBTI supporters group the Purple Bombers.

The players listened to Mouncey, Sheppard and Ball speak about their lives, pronouns, and family life post-transition, The Age reported.
“Ninety per cent of people will be fantastic,” said Mouncey, who addressed the players along with another prominent trans person, Michelle Sheppard, and non-binary activist Joe Ball.

“The other 10 per cent will be really, really extreme in their hate. There’s two games this year where I was pretty glad to get off the field and not get shot, which sounds extreme…that is where the extreme end of the hate is.

“We don’t look to politicians for leadership. We don’t. We look to athletes and sporting teams and clubs.”

Mouncey was barred from entering the AFLW draft last year but has since found a place playing in VFLW.

She stressed that local teams are following suit after an increase in the prominence of pride games at the highest level.

“Otherwise it never would have happened.”

Mouncey’s simple point was to tell the players to treat trans people with the same respect they would anyone else.

“Don’t overthink it. You know how to be a good person. Don’t treat the trans people differently to anyone else.”

Sheppard discussed the struggles she had as a parent, saying, “My ex-wife was uncomfortable with [me] taking my kids to school, and my kids were desperate for me to come to school.”

“There’s a lot of people like myself who don’t see ourselves as either,” Ball told the players, saying to use “the pronouns they/them’’ for non-binary people.

“Really, I just want you to call me by my name. I just want to say, ‘Hey, Joe’. So don’t really focus on my pronouns, just think about who I am as a person.”

They explained that inclusion in sport could be an “antidote” against LGBTI people, and especially LGBTI youth, struggling with mental health and suicide.

Bombers player Brendon Goddard is the club’s fiercest champion for LGBTI inclusion, crediting Tuazon-McCheyne for the shift in his perspective.

“I was quite judgmental growing up,” Goddard said. “Being part of football opened up my eyes.”

“If [AFL clubs] can have a positive influence, why shouldn’t they?” he said. “I haven’t heard any other good argument on the other side of it.”

© Star Observer 2018 | For the latest in lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans* and intersex (LGBTI) news in Australia, be sure to visit daily. You can also read our latest magazines or Join us on our Facebook page and Twitter feed.



Original Post:


Published by mishsheppard

Michelle's powerful combination of self and community shines through the platform of radio which has helped raised the public profile and national dialogue of transgender, gender diverse and intersex issues on a national scale. Surprisingly nothing is off limits with Michelle who connects with her audience brilliantly; obviously through her humor and unapologetic blunt honesty. She is often labelled as an inspiring advocate and role model for youth and adults alike and hers is a powerful story to tell. We know that when a woman has the support of her community, especially her sisters, she is unstoppable. Michelle’s wider support from the women around her, LGBTI+ or ally alike, has helped develop her own unstoppable resilience and body positive confidence that she inspires others with. Now a sought-after public speaker Michelle is admired for her bold public representation of the Transgender community as works to break through the barriers of unconscious bias, cultural and structural issues to ensure equality of opportunity for all Australian work spaces. Winner of the ANZ Excellence in Business Award, ‘LGBTI Jobs’ a relatively new project, they pair LGBTI graduates and jobseekers to companies that embrace inclusion initiatives. “We’ve started a business that helps anybody who’s in the LGBTI Community. We go to companies and see what they are you doing. This isn’t just for me, this is for the entire community and we are going to make a massive change.” Michelle was recently celebrated alongside some truly amazing individuals from our community as part of the ‘The LOTL Power List 2016’ as someone who does everything in their power to make life that little bit better for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex communities: sometimes with blood, sweat and tears; and sometimes just by being themselves. Michelle is also a finalist for ‘MTV – LGBTI Broadcaster and Presenter’ in the Australian LGBTI Awards 2017. Awards Globe Awards 2016 - ANZ Excellence in Business Award The LOTL Power List 2016 (28/40) Finalist for ‘MTV – LGBTI Broadcaster and Presenter’ in the Australian LGBTI Awards 2017

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: