Dani Laidley opens up about finding love with his girlfriend on 60 Minutes

Dani Laidley opens up about finding love with his girlfriend on 60 Minutes

Dani Laidley opens up about finding love with his girlfriend on 60 Minutes

Former AFL great Danielle Laidley has opened up about the difficulty of keeping much of her life a secret as she transitions to being female.

In a revealing interview with 60 Minutes airing Sunday night, the 55-year-old opened up about her gender dysphoria and how she found love and happiness as a woman.

‘Life has not been easy. I found it difficult throughout the process,” she told the program.

“Now I can be myself with everyone.”

60 Minutes reporter Sarah Abo, who interviewed Laidley, said much of the world grew up with Dean Laidley, the “tough as nails” footballer.

“She left everything on the pitch, and that’s the part that I think is difficult. People don’t quite understand how someone so tough in this macho world of the AFL can suddenly be a woman,’ Abo told The Today Show host Ally Langdon on Friday.

Dani Laidley opens up about finding love with his girlfriend on 60 Minutes

Dani Laidley with his childhood sweetheart Donna Leckie. Laidley opened up about his transition to being female in a revealing interview with 60 Minutes

“The way Danielle approaches it is that she used the football pitch as an outlet.

“All that pent-up frustration and all that confusion, and that inability to identify what she was going through, it just fueled her incredible career as a footballer and as a premier and then as a manager.”

Abo said some of Laidley’s relationships with friends and family have changed since the transition.

“It’s hard for those who grew up with, I guess, Dean Laidley, the father figure in their lives. It’s a bit difficult now to try to reconcile with this new person.

“Overall the acceptance from the wider community and certainly the AFL community and certainly the AFL community, has been amazing.” They embraced Danielle for who she is,” she explained.

News of his transition first emerged after Victorian police officers leaked photos of Laidley.

She was arrested in 2020 for harassment and breach of a domestic violence order, which resulted in an 18-month good behavior bond without conviction or fine.

Dani Laidley was born Dean James Laidley and has surpassed both player and manager at AFL level

Dani Laidley was born Dean James Laidley and has surpassed both player and manager at AFL level

The officers who arrested her leaked a photo of her wearing a wig and makeup on social media, and it quickly went viral.

Abo said the weather was “absolutely awful” for Laidley and something she “didn’t see coming”.

“She said during the interview ‘I think I had stones in my head thinking that I would be able to transition smoothly and have a really quiet life and people would accept me for who I was. am,” the reporter said.

“This coming out has been completely taken out of his hands in the most grotesque way.

“We remember the footage leaked by the police the night she was arrested and charged. She made mistakes and Danni is the first to admit it. That time when it was completely taken out of his hands and the worst part was that his family had to endure during that time because it happened so publicly,’ Abo explained.

When asked if Laidley was happy, Abo said she was “very happy” and had found love with childhood sweetheart Donna Leckie.

Addressing the leaked photos herself, Laidley said it was “an invasion of privacy”.

Laidley said she was treated to everything from

Laidley said she was called everything from ‘crossdressing’ to ‘ice face’ by ignorant football fans

The Victoria Police Internal Disciplinary Board ordered 11 officers, ranging from constable to sergeant, to pay Laidley up to $3,000 out of their own pockets.

Deputy Commissioner Shane Patton has formally apologized to Laidley after the photos went viral, saying he was “appalled” by the behavior of the agent.

Laidley was born Dean James Laidey and played 151 AFL games for the West Coast Eagles and North Melbourne before carving out a 149-game coaching career with the Kangaroos.

While it’s only been five years since Laidley was formally diagnosed with gender dysphoria and only 2020 when the transitioning process began, it’s something Laidley has carried with her for a long time.

The soccer legend has opened up about his transition to becoming a woman and the lack of acceptance from the wider Australian community

The soccer legend has opened up about his transition to becoming a woman and the lack of acceptance from the wider Australian community

“My earliest memory is about six years, a very long time ago,” Laidley told Triple M in June.

“Now I’m 55, so what is that, 49, my God.

“It was really hard knowing that I felt so different on the inside than what was on the outside, then, given that I started playing league football when I was in high school, to have this character, and some called me the Junkyard Dog. Back then, it was so far removed from the person I really was and it was very difficult and it took its toll.

“I felt like I was walking around with a ship’s anchor on my head for many, many years, but I was too scared, ashamed, embarrassed to go and find out, but I knew there was something wrong. different in how I felt.’

Laidley explained what it was like to live with gender dysphoria and how it involved more complicated emotions than just feelings of confused gender identity.

“Gender dysphoria is the medical condition of people who know their gender identity is not consistent with how they feel on the inside (of) what is on the outside,” she said. declared.

“Gender dysphoria, it causes a lot of white noise 24/7 and overwhelms your thinking and overwhelms your ability to live normally.

“So playing and coaching and having a young family and doing all those things, to be honest, I don’t know how I got here, but I am, and I’m very happy.”

Today, Laidley has become a target for internet trolls and some members of her family haven’t fully embraced the change, but she still thinks it was worth it.

‘Absolutely, I am absolutely at peace. It took 55 years to get to this,” she said.

“Even though there was an awful lot that was written and said, and I didn’t have many, zero, opportunities to say anything for different reasons, before it all became very public , I lived as myself.

“And I was very happy about it.

“Some members of my family still find it a bit difficult, but we are working on it.”

Today, Laidley has become a target for internet trolls and some members of her family haven't fully embraced the change, but she still thinks it was worth it.

Today, Laidley has become a target for internet trolls and some members of her family haven’t fully embraced the change, but she still thinks it was worth it.

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