For 28 years, Aprilia Santini Manganang and the Indonesian Women’s Volleyball Association had been fighting off accusations that she was actually a person , but this year, Manganang was finally confirmed to actually be male.
A member of Indonesia’s national women’s volleyball team, Aprilia Manganang also played in several local club teams in Indonesia, also as in Thailand. She led the Jakarta Electric PLN women’s team to become the champion of the Proliga in 2015, 2016, and 2017. In 2019, she became champion again with the Jakarta PGN Popsivo Polwan team, before transferring to the Generali Supreme Chonburi-E Tech team within the Thai Volleyball League and winning the championship that same year.
Manganang won multiple most precious Player awards in her career, and helped the Indonesian national team win the bronze and silver medals at different editions of the Southeast Asian Games (SEA). But her amazing achievements were always put into question, due to haw she looked.
She had big shoulders, muscular physique, flat chest and visual mustache, Aprilia Manganang was never the foremost feminine player . Her ability to soar into the air and smash the ball into the opponents’ half won her the nickname “monster of the vertical jump”, but also fueled more allegations about her true gender.
Before the 2015 SEA Games in Singapore, Philippine volleyball officials protested and demanded that Aprilia Santini Manganang be subjected to a gender test, but the Southeast Asian Games Federation medical committee ruled against it, and Manganang was allowed to compete within the women’s team at that edition of the games and a number of other subsequent others.
“I have undergone gender examinations tons of times both in my former career as a sprinter and in volleyball and that i wasn’t scared of being tested again. I am ready (for a gender test). I am also not within the wrong — whatever I even have is given from above,” the player said at the time. “If I am the one who is in the wrong then I will withdraw, but this is not the case and I am not afraid.”
The controversy around Aprilia’s gender continued until September of last year, when the decided to retire from women’s volleyball at the age of 28. Her decision left tons of individuals in shock, especially because she had been so successful within the sport up thereto point.
She wrote on her Instagram account –
“On this occasion, i will be able to tell Indonesian volleyball lovers that i’m Aprilia Manganang have decided to resign from the planet of volleyball,” . “I made this decision, because i would like to measure a far better life, want to succeed in the reality in my heart peacefully. Therefore, this is the best decision for me.”
Following her retirement as knowledgeable athlete, Aprilia pursued a military career, as a second sergeant within the Army Women’s Corps. It was here that she was finally confirmed to be male, after living the past 28 years of her life as a lady .
According to the Independent Observer, when Aprilia Santini Manganang was examined at the Robert Wolter Monginsidi Army Hospital in Manado, there were clear indications that she wasn’t actually a woman. Due to limited testing equipment at the hospital, she was set to the Gatot Subroto Army Central Hospital in Jakarta for further checks. The Army’s official statement this month was pretty clear.
“Today i would like to convey information about one among the military soldiers, namely Second Sergeant Aprilia Santini Manganang. Aprilia Manganang isn’t as lucky as all folks . So when she was born, this child had abnormalities within the genital system . In health terminology it’s called Hypospadias,” Army Chief Andika Perkasa said. From the results of the examination, it seems that from the urological examination, Sergeant Manganang has more male sex organs, he doesn’t even have female internal organs,” Andika added.
“Then the hormonal tests were giving the same results. The hormone testosterone was also measured and it had been found that Sergeant Manganang has hormonal levels that fall under the traditional male category. MRI radiological examinations also revealed the same thing.”
The former star player was quick to adopt her true gender, changing her name to Aprilio Perkasa Manganang, adopting a replacement , more masculine haircut and men’s clothing. He even put out a press release about how relieved he was about the news. This is a flash that I even have been expecting , i’m really happy. Praise the Lord, I can get through this, I many thanks all for helping me to seek out myself,” Manganang said during a virtual conference. “I thank the doctors who have helped me, i’m very happy, I even have been expecting 28 years and eventually this year it had been achieved.”
Indonesian news outlets reported that Aprilio was born with hypospadias, the second-most common birth abnormality of the male genital system . It is characterized by the very fact that the urethra doesn’t open from its usual location within the head of the penis, but at the bottom . Due to limited medical equipment at the time, he was identified as possessing female Instruments, and lived as a lady for 28 years of his life.
Financial issues prevented Aprilio’s family from completing further medical investigations, therefore the female gender was recorded on his certificate and card .
Aprilio Manganang’s story went viral in Indonesia, with most reactions towards his true gender reveal being positive, although there have been those that brought all those achievements in women’s volleyball into question, now that he has finally been confirmed a person .