A transgender woman from Lismore is determined for her voice to be heard after a lifechanging experience playing female hockey on the Far North Coast.
Roxy Tickle, 52, had gender affirmation surgery in 2019 and has been playing with East Lismore women over the past two years.
Tasmanian senator Claire Chandler wants the Sex Discrimination Act changed so that sporting organisations have the right to lawfully exclude transgender women from playing in female sporting competitions.
Chandler has received support from Prime Minister Scott Morrison as the debate continues during the federal election.
She will part of the Gender Games episode of Insight on SBS tonight at 8.30pm.
Tickle will talk about finding the confidence to return to sport after 20 years on the sidelines.
"It's been lifesaving, literally. We have higher rates of suicide in the transgender community so that isn't a statement I make lightly," Tickle said.
"The Save Women's Sport Bill is designed to target people like me who transitioned later in life.
"My teammates are really confused when I tell them what senator is trying to do - they ask why? They don't see a problem with me.
"None of these politicians behind the legislation know who we are. We're trying to say we're ordinary people that are just a little bit different.
"There are people who spread a message that we're creeps and predators and I can't begin to tell you how traumatic that is after all we go through to survive and transition."
Tickle worked with Hockey Australia to formulate its transgender diversity and inclusion guidelines before she started playing again.
"We make up only one per cent of the population and it feels like 25 per cent of the election commentary is about us at the moment," Tickle said.
"We deserve the right to be seen and understood; there's powerful people trying to tell others who we are when they're not telling the truth it really hurts.
"A lot of the commentary is based on elite sport, that's not my ballpark and I've tried to represent the everyday sports person.
"I don't have the drive, fitness or the talent to play elite sport, I just want to run around the field with my friend. I'm in the lowest grade and I think I've only scored one goal.
"I was a very private person before I transitioned, I was someone who had no confidence and would go to the back of the line because I didn't think I deserved anything.
"I don't know how or why but I feel like I'm much braver than I thought I was, I'm putting my name and face out there so I can be the person to stand up and say to the younger trans kids that we're here to protect them. I don't want anyone to go through what I had to during my childhood."
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