SHE'S THE WOMAN WHO USED TO BOOT FOR THE OTHER SIDE...
“My name is Kirsti Miller…formerly Warren Miller,” says Kirsti.
NOW THIS 48-YEAR-OLD... SAYS SHE'S BEING KICKED OUT OF THE SPORT SHE LOVES TO PLAY...
“I'm the first transgender football player in the history of Broken Hill. I was ostracized and alienated and made to feel unwelcome,” says Kirsti.
THIS WAS KIRSTI TEN YEARS AGO AS WARREN.... A HUSBAND, FATHER, GRANDFATHER AND PRISION OFFICER... THIS IS HER TODAY... AFTER A FULL SEX CHANGE... LEGALLY RECOGNISED AS A WOMAN...
Some people describe me as a cross between Jason Ackermanas in personality and Warrick kappa and Prascilla queen of the Desert in looks but hey I'm very approachable,” says Kirsti.
IT MAY COME AS A SURPRISE THAT KIRSTI LIVES IN THE CONSERVATIVE OUTBACK TOWN OF BROKEN HILL... IRONICLALY IT'S THE SAME PLACE WHERE THE ICONIC FILM PRISCILLA QUEEN OF THE DESERT WAS SHOT... TELLING THE STORY OF CROSSDRESSING PERFORMERS STRIVING FOR ACCEPTANCE... JUST AS KIRSTI IS...
“There's two places in the world where I'm safe. One is Bangkok… the other is Broken Hill,” Kirstie says.
AND HAVING BEEN AN AVID FOOTY PLAYER SHE ASSUMED SHE COULD TAKE UP WHERE SHE LEFT OFF ... IN THE LADIES LEAGUE ...
“Definitely nervous cos hey it was new to me, new to the club, my opponents, new to the crowd and I expected some flak,” says Kirsti.
BUT SHE DIDN'T EXPECT THIS..
“There were a number of things said on the field were said to me that I felt I was vilified,” says Kirsti.
Francesca: Such as?
Things from the crowd, my opponents, officials from the other club. Things like, 'hey don't tackle that thing you'll get aids. Don't tackle number 30 my number, you'll get a disease," Kirsti says.
AFTER TACKLING HER CRITICS ON FACEBOOK SHE COPPED IT FROM HER CLUB ... BUT AFTER COMPLAINING THE AFL SHE'S NOW BEEN LEFT OUT OF THE GAME ALTOGETHER
“This is another form of discrimination. I'm not crying out about the original incident, I'm crying about that now I'm not getting the opportunity to play when legally, the legal status and the legal right to play football which is in the AFL bylaws and also in the rules pup to international Olympic committee, Kirsti says.
EACH SATURDAY KIRSTI IS FORCED TO WATCH FROM THE SIDELINES AS HER FIANCE - NICKI PLAYS WHILE SHE CHEERS HER ON...
“I just want to play football I don't care if I win or lose I just want to be part of a team,” say Kirsti.
ASK THE LOCALS AND YOU'LL GET VERY FEW SITTING ON THE FENCE
Francesca: “Would you have an issue with a transgender player?”
“Yeah... a bloke's a bloke I suppose,” says one local.
“It doesn't bother me as long as she doesn't have an advantage,’ add another local.
“I think she gets too much publicity,” says one local man.
WHILE IT'S THE TALK OF THE TOWN... IT'S A GENDER ISSUE THAT'S TAKEN KIRSTI YEARS TO ACCEPT HERSELF...
“I was a girl, I was a girl. Just with a physical defect between my legs basically. The rest of me… because what defines a woman or a man is your brain. That's who we are,” Kirsti says.
IN A STATEMENT TODAY THE AFL SAID THEY ARE DEALING WITH THE ISSUE BY EDUCATING PLAYERS ON VILIFICATION AND THAT KIRSTI'S GENDER HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH NOT BEING ABLE TO PLAY...
“AFL NSW/ACT acknowledges that Kirsti has had difficulty in finding a football home since the initial vilification incident but respects the rights of individual clubs to accept or reject membership. Rejection based upon vilification of any type would not be tolerated...”
“If it's racism it gets acted upon immediately, if it's trans or homophobia it gets pushed away. We don't get as much support you know,” says Kirsti.
THAT'S WHY KIRSTI SAYS SHE'S NOT HANGIN UP HER BOOTS YET...
“I've been like this from day one because I find I'm here to educate people. This is why I was out on this earth I believe now…. to educate people. (BUTT) I'm proud of being a transgender girl. I'm proud of it,” Kirsti Says.