AFL transgender player Danielle Laidley story, height laidlaw wife brooke


AFL transgender player Danielle Laidley story, height laidlaw wife brooke

When asked a question that made Danielle Laidley cry, the AFL champion opened up about making the change.

Danielle Laidley, the former coach of North Melbourne, has broken her silence to talk about her 50-year battle with gender dysphoria.

In an honest interview with Channel 9's 60 Minutes, the 55-year-old woman from Western Australia talked about the problems she had becoming a transgender woman.

Even though she was born a boy and was known to millions of Aussie sports fans as player and coach Dean Laidley, she knew she was a girl for the first fifty years of her life.

Laidley tried very hard to keep her secret from her friends, family, and the rest of the Australian rules football community. She played for West Coast and North Melbourne for 11 seasons and won a premiership with the Kangaroos in 1996.

Laidley said that if she had told her mother about her gender dysphoria, "she probably would have locked me up."

But the former football star is sure she is still the same person. She just changed her name.

"Life hasn't been easy for me. It's been hard for me the whole time," she said.

Danielle Laidley

"A skinny kid used to run around a football field like he was crazy."

But that was part of the mask, to hide. "I wouldn't let people get close to me.

"I thought I was doing great, but it's clear that I wasn't."

This week, Laidley's gripping and honest memoir Don't Look Away: A Memoir of Identity and Acceptance comes out. In it, she talks about how she became addicted to ice and tried to kill herself after an eight-day drug binge in 2020.

"Addiction is a disease that has been in my family for a long time. There has been a lot of self-harm and drinking," she said.

"It all started when I turned into a workaholic. Then, when I left the AFL, I started gambling, drinking, and finally doing drugs. And I feel really bad about it and ashamed of myself. So, you feel shame and embarrassment about my gender dysphoria, and then you feel shame and embarrassment about being called a cross-dresser and an ice head. "That's still the most shameful part for me," she said. And that's hard for me to deal with because I only know where it came in the story."

Danielle Laidley

When asked how she got along with her three grown children, Laidley started crying.

"In God's time, we'll be a family again," was all she could say.

"They've been through enough, and I hope that when we come back here in a few years, we'll all be in a good place."

But yeah, it makes a huge hole in my heart.

"They've been my whole life. I love them with all my heart."

Laidley was arrested in May 2020 while wearing a dress and a blonde wig. Among other things, he was charged with stalking and breaking a family violence order.

Police officers took pictures of her in her wig and dress while she was in custody and posted them on social media.

The pictures spread quickly, and TV, radio, and print media all talked about how she had problems with drugs.

"People saw me as a senior coach who was rough and angry. Then I went out of my way to stop being seen, and I started to change emotionally. Then all of a sudden, I show up... with those disgusting photos," she said.

"The photos were a privacy invasion... I don't like the phrase "come out." Why do I have to say it? I had a peaceful life. Yes, it was the first time in my life that I got lost and went off the tracks. And it made me feel really bad. It was stopped from happening."

But Laidley found comfort in the huge amount of support she got from her ex-teammates and the football community after she came out.

She is still getting to know how to love herself.

She said, "I'm in a great place."

"Everything in my life is very calm. And, for the first time in a long time, it's very stable. I know there will be some nose punches because the first person in any social change usually ends up bloody and scarred.