SAS Australia 2022 star Ellia Green has come out as a transgender man and spoke about the importance of trans representation in sport.

Ellia – who uses he/him pronouns and has not changed his name – is the “first Olympian trans man to come out” and spoke openly about his transition at an international summit focused on ending transphobia and homophobia in sport.

The Olympic champion also used the platform to highlight the disproportionate suicide rates of trans youth and slammed World Rugby’s decision to bar transgender women from playing women’s rugby.

ellia green sas australia
Ellia Green won gold at the 2016 Rio Olympics for Rugby Sevens and appeared on SAS Australia in 2022. Source: Channel Seven.

“Banning transgender people from sport is disgraceful and hurtful. It only means the rates of suicide and mental health issues will get even worse,” he told Associated Press.

Now retired from professional rugby, the Fijian-born sportsman’s plans for the future are being a “full-time daddy” to his infant daughter Waitui, who he shares with his partner Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts.

“I am going to live the rest of my life with my partner and my daughter. I am going to live the rest of my life as her dad,” Ellia told AP sports writer John Pye.

SAS Australia’s Ellia Green Recalled Knowing He Was a Boy From Childhood

Ellia – who was assigned female at birth (AFAB) – knew he was a boy from an early age and often presented in public as such.

“I had short [hair], and whenever we met new people they thought I was a boy,” he said. “I always used to wear my brother’s clothes, played with tools, and ran around with no shirt on. Until I grew breasts, and I thought ‘oh no’.”

His adopted mother Yolanta Green helped the young Ellia to find his passion for sports.

ellia green childhood mother yolanta
Ellia with his mother Yolanta Green. Source: Instagram.

He first started as a track and field sprinter before moving into rugby.

In his professional career, Ellia won gold at the Rio de Janeiro Olympics in 2016. He later went on to appear in SAS Australia 2022.

SAS Australia 2022’s Ellia Green Speaks Out About His History of Depression

Witnessing the domestic abuse of Yolanta from an early age “caused a lot of long-lasting trauma”, according to the Washington Post.

But it was after missing out on being selected for the delayed 2020 Tokyo Olympics that Ellia recalled his depression reaching “a new level of sadness”.

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“I spent a lot of time after I finished up my career with Australian rugby just in the house, in a dark room [and] didn’t have the confidence to see anyone,” Ellia said in the video.

“I was ashamed of myself, I felt I had let a lot of people down, especially myself and my mum,” he said, before adding he felt like a “complete failure”.

SAS Australia’s Ellia Green Knew His Transition Would Help His Mental Health

The “light at the end of the tunnel” for Ellia was he had already booked in for “top surgery” and started treatment towards his transition.

ellia green transgender
Pictured with his partner Vanessa Turnbull-Roberts and their daughter Waitui. Source: Instagram.

“It was something I was counting down the days with my partner,” he told the outlet. “I just knew it was going to be the most liberating feeling when I had that surgery and to be in the body I knew I had to be.”

“To those who have a story even slightly similar to mine, I would just like to tell you that it does get better,” he said in the video.

ellia green with partner and daughter
Ellia told others who had similar experiences to him that it “does get better”. Source: Instagram.

While he was proud to speak about his trans identity, Ellia explained in the video that it could be “stressful” for trans folk when people asked too many questions rather than just being accepting of their gender identity.

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