Kirsti’s story goes global
Monday, 1st July, 2013
By Erica Visser
Transgender woman Kirsti Miller has struck up big magazine and television deals after the story of her alleged vilification by the local AFL branch went international.
Ms Miller claimed that she no longer felt safe in Broken Hill after suffering abuse and discrimination both on-field, as part of South women’s football club, and off-field.
The BDT revealed the 48-year-old’s side of the story earlier this month, however the local AFL was told not to comment.
It was picked up by national and international news corporations and Ms Miller said that the media was her “only ally in this fight”.
AFL NSW has since taken notice with General Manager Tom Harley stating that the matter was taken seriously and mediation was going well.
“Kirsti Miller is passionate about Australian Football and deserves every opportunity to play,” Mr Harley said.
“AFL NSW/ACT and the local league will ensure that, like every other player in the competition, Kirsti is treated with dignity and respect.”
Chairman of AFL Broken Hill Peter Nash offered Ms Miller the opportunity to become an umpire, but she said her playing career was not over.
“Umpiring is a viable alternative for her if she generally does want to be involved,” Mr Nash said.
Mr Nash said that during mediation talks, the branch had told her it would encourage and support her transferring teams.
However, Ms Miller has fallen out with South, could not play for West due to personal reasons, has a vilification case against North and was allegedly rejected by Central.
Ms Miller said that mediation had failed and that she was the “only girl in Broken Hill without a footy team to play for”.
“I applied to Central a few weeks ago and again after the mediation. They had a vote between the players and coach to see if they wanted me to play,” she said.
“It hasn’t happened before; it’s further harassment and discrimination on my gender; it’s totally illegal.
“I’ve been told by a number of people that they voted for me but it wasn’t enough.”
Ms Miller said she now had no choice but to make the matter a “landmark court case”.
“Unfortunately, the AFL has had over two months to resolve this and they haven’t, so the only avenue I’ve got left is the Civil Court.
“I get a hard time wherever I go but on the football field I’m protected by law.
“Even if I sue every football club in Broken Hill I don’t care. They’ve chosen the wrong girl to pick a fight with.”
But the AFL NSW/ACT has released a statement, saying “it is not accurate to say that Central has rejected Kirsti Miller’s application to play”.
“The club is yet to make a decision and will be given the time necessary to make a call,” a spokesperson said.
“It’s important that everyone involved sticks to the facts and the process in place as this will assist us to achieve the best outcome possible.”