Australia remains the only country in the world that requires teenagers to get legal approval before receiving hormone treatment - Georgie Stone wants to stop that.
The 16-year-old has gained more than 15,000 signatures in an online petition as she seeks to stop the involvement of the Family Court in trans teens accessing the hormones necessary to transition.
Current laws mean teenagers in 'stage two' hormone treatment need court approval to proceed, with Stone's earlier lobbying instrumental in overturning the legal requirement needed to start 'stage one' puberty blocking drugs. At age 11, she became the youngest person in Australia to be given the introductory medication.
Having been awarded the Gay and Lesbian Organisation of Business and Enterprise (GLOBE)'s Person of the Year in 2016, Stone has continued her activism in pushing for an end to her next legal roadblock.
"The involvement of the Family Court in the medical decisions of transgender teens is actually harming those children it is supposed to protect," she said in the Change petition. "Having to go to court is costly, time consuming and stressful for trans teens and their families... the court has nothing to offer which is of benefit to kids like me. In fact, it does the opposite. It makes us feel like there is something wrong with us."
The activist highlighted the distress felt by many when forced to go through the courts.
"It causes enormous distress and can make kids more vulnerable emotionally making many so unhappy they self harm or attempt suicide," Stone continued. "Those who cannot afford to go to court cannot access the medical treatment that is their right or they access hormones illegally which may have devastating health consequences."
With a target of 25,000 signatures needed, the petition is more than half-way towards reaching its target, while Stone hopes to hand the appeal to Parliament at the end of March.
You can sign the appeal here.
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