Grace Wilson becomes first A-League footballer to come out as non-binary: ‘A huge weight has lifted’

Grace Wilson has come out as non-binary, becoming the first A-League footballer in Australia to do so. 

The Adelaide United goalkeeper has said “a huge weight has lifted” after coming out to the public and becoming their most authentic self. 

In a huge step for inclusivity in sport in Australia, the football star announced their identity as non-binary on 1 March. 

In an interview with Holly Ransom, the Pride Cup chairperson, Wilson took a breath before explaining that their “gender and perception of gender doesn’t fit into the Western standards of ‘man’ or ‘woman’.

“For me personally, I don’t feel like I’m anywhere near that,” they explained. “I feel separated from that… Every non-binary person experiences [gender] differently.”

The 18-year-old went on to explain that they hadn’t realised how impactful the use of their correct pronouns would feel until someone used theirs correctly. “I didn’t realise, but finally hearing people refer to me as ‘they/them’, it’s this phenomenal, euphoric feeling,” they explained.

According to the Young Matildas player, their experience with gender was something they could no longer suppress – and shouldn’t have to. “I’ve really understood I’m non-binary for a year and a bit.

“But I think looking back, I kind of knew since I was a kid. I remember I walked into a shop and this older lady greeted me. She said, ‘hey miss, how are you going?’ I was…not a fan of that. 

“I remember getting back into the car and [thinking], ‘I’m non-binary. That’s it. I can’t deny it any more.’”

They also remembered when their idol, singer G-Flip, came out as non-binary and how that affected them. “Seeing someone who I looked up to so much [coming] out, it made me reflect on who I was.”

Wilson signed with Adelaide who said it “stands in solidarity and support with Grace Wilson” ahead of the 2021-22 A-League season. 

Wilson is also in the squad for the Young Matildas AFC Under-20 Women’s Asian Cup in Uzbekistan. 

Their bravery in coming out to the public marks a huge milestone for the player, as well as the wider football community. Wilson’s revelation will hopefully promote further diversity and inclusion within the sport. 

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