In our MECCA M-Powered interview series, fearless people from around the globe share their incredible stories – from overcoming adversity to following their passions and inspiring a future generation of changemakers.
Georgie Stone has just turned 22, but it’s no wonder she’s wise beyond her years – she’s done a lot of living in her short life!
“I grew up in a really loving family,” she says.“ Both my parents are actors” – it runs in the family, with Georgie having just finished up a three-year stint on Neighbours – “so my twin brother and I were encouraged to be creative, play and tell stories. This freedom helped me articulate who I was at a young age. I knew I was a girl from the beginning, and on the whole, my family was very supportive of me.”
Unfortunately, there were many barriers that prevented Georgie from living her life as her true self. In a battle that would last years, Georgie took on the Australian court system at just 10 years old, in a successful bid to gain access to crucial gender affirming treatment before the onset of puberty.
But Georgie wasn’t just fighting for herself. She and her family returned to court to set a precedent that meant other trans children would not have to go to court to have their right to treatment granted. It was a momentous step, and it’s one that’s detailed in her latest starring role: her documentary, The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone.
Here, she tells MECCA about her struggle for self-determination, what makes her feel her best and why she says this film is “about taking the power back.
Your documentary, The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone, details your fight to change the law around timely access to affirming medical care for trans children and teenagers. Can you tell us more about your campaign – what made you want to change the laws and how it felt when you discovered you had won?
GS: “Yes, it’s been a big fight, and court has played a big role in my life. This fight has been fought by many generations of trans and gender diverse people, and all my struggles sit on the shoulders of their sacrifices and tireless push for agency and dignity over their lives.
“My family and I went to court three times when I was 10 to gain access to gender affirming treatment – stage one treatment to suppress puberty. We won, but then went back again to set a precedent for all trans kids, so they didn’t have to go to court to access this vitally important treatment. It is now a decision by a team of many medical professionals, our families and importantly ourselves.
“I went again to court as a teenager to access stage two treatment. We when we won my case, the court did not change this for other teens. My mother and I continued to advocate for the next three years in public visibility work, so that other teens didn’t have to go to court to fight amongst judges who knew nothing about their lives. After years and years of work behind the scenes, in collaboration with many organisations and individuals, this law has now been changed. I’m proud of this work and now in the state of Victoria we have one of the best medical systems for trans youth in the world.
“Unfortunately, the fight still continues and Transcend Australia, which my mother Rebekah set up when I was a kid, is celebrating its 10-year anniversary and continues to fight for the removal of the court process which still exists in certain circumstances. But you’ll have to watch the film to get the full scoop!”
How are you feeling about the release of the documentary? What do you hope to achieve by sharing your story?
GS: “For me, this film is about taking the power back. To have agency over my story, for the first time in my life, has been such an empowering experience. I am thankful and grateful to the older generations of trans people who paved the way to create a more accepting world where young people like myself can grow to become our true selves.
“In Dreamlife, I want to portray my journey from a kid who felt so isolated and alone to a young woman who is finally asserting control over her life, her body, her story. I want to show people the importance of a supportive family and what that can do for a trans person. I want people to see the trans experience as not black-and-white, but nuanced and multi-faceted. It’s lonely and difficult, but also euphoric and beautiful too. There are times we want it to all go away, and times we are so proud to be ourselves we could explode!
“And most of all, I want other trans people to see that they have a future. You can be ambitious and dream big. Our trauma doesn’t define us, and it won’t last forever. We deserve to have a wonderful life. I’m really excited to have the opportunity to tell my story honestly and openly. I don’t pretend to represent all trans experiences. Everyone’s journey is different. This is mine, and I hope you find something in it.”
How do you believe we can better protect and support transgender, gender diverse and non-binary youth in Australia
GS: “Firstly, we need to start listening to trans, gender diverse and non-binary young people; stop making assumptions about us and making decisions for us. We are here and have a voice and we, along with our families, need agency in the decisions that affect us. Further to that, I have given lots of thought to this, and together with Transend Australia we have laid out some ways to improve the lives of young people like me.
“The two biggest key protective factors for trans, gender diverse and non-binary young people are timely access to gender-affirming healthcare and a supportive family. Timely access to gender-affirming healthcare requires adequate funding to gender services and appropriately trained staff. Trans young people deserve access to quality and timely gender-affirming healthcare close to where they live, in every state and territory as well as regional and rural areas.
“Family support is a critical protective factor and trans young people do better when they have family acceptance. However, families need access to specialist support from trans family support organisations, such as Transcend Australia, which require appropriate funding. If you want to learn more or get involved, go to dreamlifefilm.com.”