Day 6·Q&A

New Netflix documentary follows life of Australian trans teen who challenged laws to affirm gender

When she was 10, Georgie Stone became the youngest Australian to receive hormone blockers. She is transgender and spent much of her youth in court fighting for rights around receiving hormone therapy treatment to affirm her gender.

At the age of 10, Georgie Stone became the youngest Australian to receive hormone blockers

Georgie Stone look out of a vehicle window in the documentary The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone.
Georgie Stone's life story of activism and transition can be seen in a new Netflix documentary. (Photo by Maya Newell)

When she was 10, Georgie Stone became the youngest person in Australia to receive hormone blockers.

Stone is transgender and had to go to court to fight for that right. 

As a teenager, she was back in Australian courts pushing to receive hormone therapy treatment to affirm her gender. 

And then she kept up the fight, to help other youth in the future, going back to court again to change Australian law, and won.

Georgie Stone photographed at the age of 9. Roughly a year later, she became Australia's youngest person to receive puberty blockers. (Photo by Maya Newell)

Now 22, Stone is the subject of a new Netflix documentary. 

"This is the first time in my life that I've had agency over the way that my story has been told," she said.

The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone was directed by Maya Newell, who filmed Stone over the span of six years, starting when she was 14.

Stone served as the film's creative producer.

Both Georgie Stone and Maya Newell spoke with CBC Radio's Day 6, and here's part of their conversation with host Saroja Coelho.

Georgie, this documentary is so full of emotion. It's an incredibly personal snapshot of your life, and you've had to be in the public eye for so much of your life. But what is it like for you to have your story out there for the entire world?

It's a whole mix of emotions. So often my story has been told, but it's been edited by other people. It's sort of their lens on my life. This is the first time that the power has been in my hands. In that sense, I feel really empowered releasing this documentary. 

But you know, at the same time, it's incredibly personal. I'm a rather private person. It's also kind of weird to think that there are people out there who can access this very personal snapshot of my life on Netflix. 

I'm sort of feeling a whole plethora of emotions right now, but mostly pride. 

Stone spent much of her youth in court fighting for transgender rights around things such as hormone therapy treatments to affirm her gender. (Photo by Maya Newell)

Maya, you filmed Georgie for I think about six years. What were you hoping to capture when you first started filming her?

When I met Georgie when she was 14, and there wasn't a very clear idea of a film in mind. I didn't come in with my misconceptions of Georgie's life. 

We just started filming and building a relationship and getting to know each other. And together, I suppose, went on this collaborative journey where eventually emerged a very clear path of the kind of story that needed to be told.

We had these disparate moments, fragmented moments in her life. And Georgie said, 'I want it to be a film that represents all the moments that make a human.' 

She was coming up to the end of that school chapter, this sort of coming of age and entering her twenties, and we felt like that was a really natural end. 

Australian filmmaker Maya Newell met Stone when Stone was 14 and began documenting her life. (Photo by Steve Baccon)

Georgie, there are these wonderful clips that you just started talking about, you and your dad having a conversation. You're quite young, but the film ends with you as an adult woman. How would you describe that journey from where you were as a little girl to where you are now?

I would describe my childhood as an absolute rollercoaster, to be honest. I've gone through some incredibly traumatic things in my 22 years. 

I had to go to court to be able to access treatment, and had been bullied at school. There have been a lot of things that have been really difficult to deal with. 

But at the end of the day, I consider myself to have had a very lucky childhood and a very happy childhood. I have a family who loves me and supports me. I have a roof over my head and I have really beautiful memories with family and friends. I feel like my childhood had the really beautiful highs and the really difficult lows. 

I get reminded every day that the world isn't safe for women like me and for kids like me.- Georgie Stone


Georgie, you've spent so much of your life fighting for transgender rights, safety, equality. And right now in the world, all over the world, there are places where transgender rights are under attack. What is it like for you to see that?

I get reminded every day that the world isn't safe for women like me and for kids like me. And I just feel exhausted because I've spent my whole life fighting. 

I feel that exhaustion because I know that I'm going to have to keep fighting and I might have to keep fighting my whole life.

But what I also know is that hate and vitriol and fear can't win because there are people like me who are telling their stories. We're living proof that that fear is unfounded and that we do not pose a threat to people. 

In fact, our existence can actually enrich lives and enrich storytelling. We have come a long way, but yeah, there's still a long way to go.

Georgie, on the documentary's website, people are encouraged to have watch parties, and there's even a discussion guide to help viewers along. What is it that you're hoping people will learn?

I really hope people see that beautiful family dynamic in the film and realize how vitally important it is that trans people are supported and uplifted by their families, and supported and listened to by the medical field and by the wider community. That support and that empathy gives us agency over our lives. 

And for trans people, I hope they see and feel the hope in this story. So often the trans stories that are out there are really depressing or, you know, aren't for us because there's so much conversation and discourse about our lives and we're not a part of that discourse. 

I hope they see this film and see the hope in it. A future where we can have our dream life, whatever form that takes. 

Written and produced by Laurie Allan. Q&A has been edited for length and clarity.