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Georgie Stone, Changing Law for Trans Youth

Photos by Georgia Smedley

— By Micah Scott | Photography by Georgia Smedley | 25 May 2017
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Georgie Stone, with her family, changed the law in Australia so that any transgender teens can access Stage 1 treatment. We sat down with her to chat about what it's been like.

Your room if full of Taylor Swift posters, what is it you love about her? 

I find her witty and clever. So many people have things to say about her, and she’ll take them on and roll with them and turn them into something beautiful. She’ll be like “Yep, you think I’m a maniser - then sure watch me play that out in my video clip”. It’s something I’ve always strived for, to make something interesting out of being myself. 

Tell me about yourself then
I was born male - George - and I’ve basically known all my life that I’m a girl. I was 2 and a half when I told my mum I wanted a vagina. It’s been pretty consistent since then - the Disney princesses, dress ups, Hermione Granger - but once I started primary school that’s when I really realised something was wrong. Everything was so gendered - male bathroom, male uniform, male team in sport, always in the male groups. That’s when I really started to become distressed. 

I transitioned to female when I was 9, and I came out to my friends when I was 14.

What was it like for you telling your family?
I didn’t really have a problem. When I was 2 and a half it was just so innocent and it’s what I said. I didn’t think about what my family would think, no filters I just came out and said it. It was a different matter with my friends - I thought of exactly what I’d say in my head, and it was definitely stressful. But they were incredibly kind and understanding, and more importantly, eager to learn and get my name right. It was something really nice and I’m really grateful they were so understanding towards me.

You and your family had to go to court.
Yeah, in 2010 to access the first stage of treatment for transgender kids (the first stage is puberty blocker hormones) you had to apply to the Family Court of Australia to access it. So I started going through puberty at 10, and the masculine changes in my body were making me quite stressed. In mid 2013 we had a partial victory - which meant that trans kids and their families no longer needed to apply to the court for Stage 1 treatment. There’s still work to be done, and we need to now change the law for Stage 2 treatment.

Woah- it must feel great knowing you’ve helped other trans young person.
It’s a good feeling, but the most rewarding thing for me is knowing that families don’t have to go through that stress. I’m just really proud of my Mum who fought so hard to change the law.

Family is a pretty big part of your story.
Oh God, yeah. My mum is incredible and my brother is an incredible supporter as well. My twin brother too; Harry is so brave and supportive. A lot of people assume that all his troubles are based off what I’ve been going through - that my court process and everything is his world. But Harry goes through struggles as well like any other teenager guy.

Do you have any advice for family and friends of people who are transgender?
Try and understand them. Get their name and pronouns right and try to nail them down. That’s a big one. Just be respectful and try to make sure you listen to them. Let them talk about it and give them space to do that - and if they don’t want to, that’s OK too.

Look - me being transgender doesn’t take up a lot of time in my life. Equality means that me being transgender isn’t a factor in what I can achieve in this world and for my rights. That shouldn’t impact on the rights and opportunities that people have.

What do you want to change in this world?
Above everything - above law reform - I want trans people to know they’re OK and that they will be OK. There is support out there, and if there’s anything I can do with the position I’m in - it’s to make our stories heard. I want to give other trans kids the platform to step up and tell their story.

I want people to know it’s normal. You’re normal. 

 

This post has been created as part of the new Converse Pride Collection, launching June 2nd 2017. $10 from each pair sold goes to helping us support LGBTI youth Check them out here.

 

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