Elia Green realized as a young child – long before she became an Olympic champion – that a person’s identity and the gender given at birth can be very different things.
Now, nearly 20 years later, one of the stars of Australia’s gold medal-winning women’s rugby sevens team at the 2016 Olympics has transformed into a man.
Green, who carries the same name, told The Associated Press that it was the best decision of his life. Realizing that sharing his experience could be a lifesaver for others forced Greene to go public in a video Tuesday at an international summit on ending transphobia and homophobia in sport. will be shown to the participants. The summit is being held in Ottawa as part of the Bingham Cup rugby tournament.
The only other transgender or gender diverse Olympic gold medalists are Caitlyn Jenner and Quinn, who go by one name and were part of Canada’s winning women’s soccer team in Tokyo last year.
Seeing so few trans athletes at the elite level and so much negative commentary on social media, especially since World Rugby’s decision to stop transgender women from playing women’s rugby, Greene has pushed for those things to be harmed. given which may be given to some children.
Most importantly, it is an attempt to draw attention to a serious health issue – some studies say that more than 40% of trans youth had considered attempting suicide.
Green, 29, has admitted to being in a “dark place” after retiring from rugby at the end of 2021.
“It’s happened to me,” Green told the AP. “To a large extent 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.”
He is in a much better place now with partner Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts and their newborn daughter Waitui.
“Vanessa was pregnant and had to come to the hospital to meet her,” Green said. “I’ve had bad episodes. That’s the last time I want him to see me like this. But the only way to help heal is to talk about it… I help someone not to feel so isolated.” I want to do. My story.”
The story has been difficult at times. Green, who was female at birth, was adopted by Yolanta and Evan Green and moved to Australia from Fiji at the age of 3. Recalling later childhood memories of domestic violence, seeing Yolanta being abused in another relationship, Green said, “caused lasting trauma for a very long time.”
Green said, “I think seeing it, I knew from an early age that wasn’t the [kind of] relationship, but it shaped me to know how to deal with a woman.” should go.” “I believe there was much to be learned from this even in traumatic situations.”
It was also childhood that was an overwhelming feeling for Green.
“As a kid I remember thinking I was a boy in public, I had a short (hair cut) and whenever we met new people they thought I was a boy, Green says. “I always used to wear my brother’s clothes, play with tools, and run around without a shirt. Until I got bigger breasts, and I used to think ‘oh no’.”
“My mom used to dress me in girls’ clothes… I always wanted to please her, so if she wanted me to wear a dress, I put on a dress.”
Yolanta also helped Chanel Green in the sport, and excellence as a sprinter in track and field eventually led to a professional career in rugby. Rugby’s all-action seven-a-side form made its Olympic debut in 2016 in Rio de Janeiro and the women’s competition was the first to be held, with Australia defeating New Zealand in the final to win the inaugural gold medal. Flying winger Green was among the stars of the show.
However, all the while, deep feelings for Green were becoming apparent and really peaked after the decision to retire from rugby was announced last November, a few months later for the Australian women’s team for the Tokyo Olympics. Selection decreased.
“After I finished my career with Australian rugby, I spent a lot of time, in a dark room, I didn’t trust anyone to see me,” Green says in a pre-recorded video for the summit.
“I was ashamed of myself, I thought I had let a lot of people down, especially myself and my mom. I felt like a complete failure, it was heartbreaking,” said Greene. The team after their exit from the Olympics, explaining to. “The one thing that kept me positive is that I had already planned my surgery and treatment for my infection. It was something I was counting down the days with my partner.”
Now Green wants to advocate for others, emphasizing what harm can be done by banning the sport and how these policies can increase negativity toward trans and gender diverse people.