Politicians from multiple parties are set to meet at the end of this month to discuss reforms to the court system that would benefit transgender children seeking to transition.
Transgender teenager Georgie Stone appeared on ABC’s Australian Story on Monday to talk about her struggle in the Family Court to get the hormone treatments she needed.
In order for transgender children to access the “stage two” hormone treatment, they need approval from a Family Court judge in addition to expert medical approval. Australia is the only country in the world with the court requirement, and the process has a waiting period of as long as 10 months and a price tag for families in the tens of thousands of dollars.
Georgie has been pleading with politicians to scrap the court requirement to stop other teens from having to go through the difficult process.
Now Greens Senator Janet Rice has said that she and the fellow members of the LGBTI Parliamentary Friendship group – Liberal MP Warren Entsch, Labor MP Graham Perrett, and independent Cathy McGowan – will meet to discuss the issue when parliament sits again from August 30.
“We’ve agreed that we want to meet the first week that we’re back in Parliament to work out how we can progress this,” Ms Rice told ABC Radio.
“Unlike many of the other issues on our agenda at the moment there seems to be cross-party support for these changes and I’m hopeful that we’ll be able to get the legislative change and for it not to be party political.
“It’s not a moment too soon for the young trans people that are waiting on this law change.”
A spokesperson for Attorney-General George Brandis earlier this year said the government was “actively considering options” for the reform.
Georgie Stone told the ABC that transgender teenagers facing puberty are risking their lives taking “black market” hormones in order to transition, because they can’t access the Family Court.
“Kids who I have talked to who want to buy the medication on the black market, they can’t go to court,” she said.
“It’s either going to take too long, or they can’t afford it, and they have decided that this is their best chance.”
She said transgender children are more at risk of suicide and self harm between the time of coming out and then accessing treatment.
“I would have killed myself if my voice had broken. It would have meant people could no longer take me on face value,” she said.
If you need someone to talk to, help is available from QLife on 1800 184 527 or online at QLife.org.au, or Beyond Blue on 1300 22 4636.