Aprilia Manganang, an Indonesian volleyball player who played professional volleyball as a female athlete for nearly 10 years. But shockingly after retirement, she has come out publicly as a male.
This is not the first time that any female athlete was charged with gender fraud. Nancy Navalta, a Philippine runner was charged with hiding real gender. Navalta had clocked 11.44 secs in a 100-meter dash before the 1996 Atalanta Olympics.
"Flat chest, muscled physique and whippy mustache" – female athletes with these features always had to go through some controversy. Society never applauded a woman with features and power like men. In India also female athletes also go through the same kind of treatment. However, it was sprinter Dutee Chand who was the first to come out as ember of the LGBTQ+ community publicly.
With all these sayings, female athletes need to pass some testosterone levels to prove their position in the female category. Perhaps, some also have taken advantage of having more testosterone levels and won competitions.
The 5'7" outside hitter appeared as a female athlete until her retirement in 2020. Aprilia Manganang was born with hypospadias. Hypospadias is a common variation in the fetal development of the in which penis the urethra does not open from its usual location in the head of the penis.
However, Manganang discovered his condition later in his volleyball career. Until that she was brought up like a girl child. Though she could feel she was different than other girls.
It was at the 2015 South East Asian games when the doubt started raising. The Philippines team appealed that Manganang should undergo a gender test. However, the appeal was rejected by the competition's committee.
With all these going around him, he went onto become a bronze medal at the 2017 SEA Games. Along with that he also won four domestic titles. To be clear, he won all of those medals as a female.
Post-retirement, Aprilia went on to serve the Indonesian Army. The army medical revealed that he has Hypospadias. They also confirmed the fact that they are all fine with him being a male or female.
Later, the Indonesian army accepted his wish for corrective surgery and to be legally recognized as male. In a press conference set by the Army he said,
This is a moment I've been waiting for. I am so happy. I am grateful to all of the doctors who have helped me,After his first few phases of his surgery
Army Chief of Staff General Andi Perkasa stressed that Aprilia is not transgender. Moreover, the Army also accepted his appeal to legally recognize him as male.
This news has brought happiness to the fighters of gender discrimination. All of Indonesia has been supportive of him considering his tough life till now.