Ever since she was two and a half, Georgie knew she was a girl.
Though her gender, or inherent sense of being female, was indisputable, Georgie was born biologically male.
“For a while I thought I was a boy because everyone told me I was a boy, but it felt wrong,” said Georgie. “Eventually I told my mum I was a girl.”
Though her family was supportive and understanding, many weren’t. Georgie struggled at primary school, from being bullied, to being made to use the boy’s bathrooms. Eventually she began to have suicidal thoughts.
“They saw that I was becoming more feminine and they teased me and told me it wasn’t right. I thought this was how my
whole life was going to be and I began to think that it would be easier if I was dead.”
Georgie was only seven years old. Seeing that her daughter was in distress, mum Rebekah reached out to the RCH for support.
“They understood how I felt and helped me understand that I wasn’t weird. That I wasn’t the only person who felt like this.
It gave me a greater sense of self-belief and that helped me through,” said Georgie.
Georgie was the third transgender young person to be cared for by the RCH Gender Service.
The Gender Service is currently the first and largest multidisciplinary service of its kind in Australia for gender diverse and transgender children and adolescents. Associate Professor Michelle Telfer is Director of the service and leads a multidisciplinary team that includes paediatricians, psychiatrists, psychologists, endocrinologists, a Clinical Nurse Consultant, a gynaecologist and a speech pathologist. She has supported Georgie through much of her journey.
“When a child like Georgie presents to the Gender Service, they first meet with the Clinical Nurse Consultant and a psychologist for an assessment,” said A/Professor Telfer.
“This is an important step for identifying anyone who is at high-risk of self-harm, or who requires immediate medical
For children in early puberty, medical intervention begins with puberty blockers, which stop the production of testosterone or oestrogen and, therefore, puberty.
When she was 10-years-old, an RCH endocrinologist discovered that Georgie’s testosterone levels were rising and that she was entering puberty. At the time, families were required to obtain Family Court permission to start puberty blockers. Georgie’s court case secured this permission and also won all transgender young people the right to access puberty blockers without Family Court intervention.
At 15-years–old, Georgie’s testosterone levels spiked again. She attended Family Court once more, this time for permission to obtain gender affirming hormones, specifically oestrogen.
It was a race against time for Georgie, and her mum, Rebekah credits A/Professor Telfer for helping them through such a
“Michelle was really supportive and wrote a medical report on Georgie for the court. She is a tremendous ally and has
gone above and beyond for us,” said Rebekah.
An important part of A/Professor Telfer’s role involves advocating for patients like Georgie.
“Through advocacy, we reduce the stigma and marginalisation associated with being transgender, which improves clinical outcomes. Georgie has been a real trailblazer in this regard and her story is changing people’s opinions and beliefs.”
When asked what she would say to a young transgender person seeking help, Georgie doesn’t hesitate.
“I’m a girl and I’ve always been a girl. You have to be true to yourself and not let people think you’re unworthy. Also, reach out to the Gender Service and get the help you need. They have a great team and are a fantastic support system.”