A Wagga Sporting Hall of Fame personality who fled her home town after a gender reassignment in fear of being rejected was heartened to hear a fellow Wagga transgender woman has been shown nothing but kindness from members of a soccer club she joined this season.
With open arms Wagga United has welcomed Holly Conroy to its ranks, a decision that has been met with hostility by some community members, who believe she should not be playing in the women’s competition.
Kirsti Miller, formerly Warren Miller, has thrown her support behind Wagga United and Conroy.
Miller is seriously considering a move back to Wagga, after reconnecting with old friends and seeing how far the community has come.
“Sport in Wagga, and in any country town, is a major component of life,” Miller said.
“Trans people in the country are isolated enough, to not let them play sport, to not include us would make things so much worse.
“It’s not Darlinghurst, it’s not St Kilda, it’s bloody Wagga Wagga, and they’re accepting her. I’m so proud of Holly and I’d be so proud of Wagga if they could be a leader in this.”
Miller argued that local sports teams “aren’t playing for sheep stations” and many transgender women like herself don’t have a significant physical advantage over cisgender women. Since her transition, Miller’s body has transformed out of sight.
“It’s not just, put on the dress, we go through massive changes,” she said.
“I’ve gone from an 100kg muscular body to the shape of a 64kg girl.”
Conroy, a year into her transition, has also noticed a change, due to hormonal changes induced by testosterone blockers and estrogen.
“I’ve noticed a big difference as far as strength goes,” Conroy said.
“The hormones make your muscles shrink.”
Miller, 52, travelled the world representing Australia in modern pentathlon, and was inducted into the hall of fame in 1998.
She now plays Australian rules footy after a long battle with Broken Hill clubs where she was vilified and told all squads were full.
Now, she knows she has a home in Wagga, too, after contacting Wagga United to praise the club on Thursday.
“I called them, and they said ‘come and play, we’d have you and your partner tomorrow,’” she said.
“I was in shock.”