The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone (2022) - full transcript

Filmed over 10 years, this film leads us into the elliptical memories of Georgie Stone, one of the world's most dynamic trans-kid activists, as she changes laws, affirms her gender and for the first time, gains control of her own ...

[melodica softly plays]

- [Dad] Hello, Georgie.
- Hi.

[Dad] How did you feel
when you were younger,

when people would say,
"What a beautiful boy," or... you know?

I got a bit frustrated, um, because...

I... I wanted them
to understand that I'm a girl.

I'm a girl.

Not... maybe not in the outside,
but in the inside, I feel like a girl.

[melodica playing continues]

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Do you wanna wear different trackie dacks?



That's my fault.

They're longer on me
than they are on you. [laughs]

[Georgie] Yeah.

Yeah, wear your nice blue ones.

- I'll bring these ones instead. Yeah.
- Yeah.

- [birds chirping]
- [suitcase wheels rolling]

[voices of children playing]

[screams joyfully]

It's very surreal for me to think
that for most of today, I'll be asleep.

[Mum] Yeah.

[Georgie] And I keep thinking
of the moments that have led me here.

[Mum] Yeah.

[soft piano melody plays]

[Mum] Pop that next to your bed.



Um...

I'll pop that in there,
just in case you need it.

Thanks.

[sighs heavily]

- [laughs]
- Whoa!

Today is your first day of school.

Can we see you in your uniform, please?

Uh, yeah. Uh, Valks...

[Georgie] Yeah, and mine too.

Yeah. Yeah. Yeah.

The most recent swimming carnival
at Valkstone

was very...

very frustrating.

Um...

I went into the boy's cubicles,

or toilets, to get, um, changed into...

changed, um,

when all the boys started laughing at me.

And then I hid in the cubicle.

And then...

my mum thought
that maybe I'll get dressed with her

but not in any of the toilets.

We'll get dressed behind the toilets,

where no one could find us.

Yeah.

[soft piano music plays]

[Georgie chuckles]

So I would like to introduce to you
the college captains of 2018,

D'Art and Georgie.

[crowd cheers and applauds]

[crowd whistles]

[monitor beeping]

[Harry moans]

[Harry talks indistinctly]

[Dad] How do you feel
about having a sister and not a brother?

Well, it is quite fun
because if we were younger,

we can be playing superheroes
or something.

- [Georgie cheers]
- A girl superhero and a boy superhero.

Now we usually play spies,

and there's a woman agent
and a man agent.

So it's more fun having a girl around
instead of just two boys.

[Dad] How do you find them at school?

Does everyone at school
think of her as a girl?

Yeah.

I crossed my heart
that I wouldn't tell anyone.

[Beck] And now one, just the twins.

[shutter clicking]

- How are you feeling, love?
- I'm good.

[Greg grunting]

[all laughing]

[Beck] Be careful.

Who's taking the coffee machine
when Dad moves out?

I get all the tea stuff,
and he gets all the coffee stuff.

[metal clanks]

- The microwave?
- [Beck] Staying here.

The Wi-Fi?

[Beck] I don't know
'cause we might go with another company.

[Georgie] Mmm.

The phone?

Stays here.

And it might... have a little bit
of a different vibe here,

but we're good at creating homes, Georgie.

[monitor beeping]

[Greg] Love you so much, darling.

We'll all be here waiting for you
when you come out.

Yep.

[Beck] Time to go, my love.

Can I come a little way with her?

- Love you.
- [nurse] Yes.

- See ya. Have fun.
- [Georgie] Love you.

[nurse] Come inside.
It gets cold in there.

[Georgie chuckles]

[monitor beeping]

[nurse] I'm just gonna connect
a few of these.

It just monitors your heart
throughout the procedure.

And we're coming in today
for gender affirmation surgery?

Everyone in agreeance?

- [all] Yeah.
- [nurse] Thank you.

I'm just gonna give you a little oxygen
before you're going off to sleep.

Okay.

[nurse] So just take
some nice, big deep breaths for me there.

[breathing deeply]

[children's voices echoing]

[keeps breathing deeply]

[birds chirping]

[presenter] And the winner
of the Young People's Human Rights Medal

for 2017 is Georgie Stone.

[crowd cheering]

It is an honor
to be receiving this award today.

A few months ago,

I was talking to a group of trans kids
between the ages of 8 and 12,

and I was shocked to learn
that every single one of them was,

at that time, being bullied at school.

So even though we have achieved a lot,
we still need to make sure

that we are protecting
and looking after trans kids in Australia.

[crowd applauding, cheering]

[breathing heavily]

[Greg] How do you feel
about the medical treatment

that you want to have?

I feel good about that.

[Greg] Why?

Well, because then...
then I won't grow into a boy. I'll...

I'll be myself.

[monitor beeping]

Um...

[interviewer] Michelle. Okay, great.

So, Michelle, can you say your name for me

and your, um, position?

My name is
Associate Professor Michelle Telfer,

and I'm the head
of Department of Adolescent Medicine

and director of the Gender Service
at the Royal Children's Hospital.

For every young person
who comes to see us,

there's a very thorough assessment
that takes place

before a big decision
like hormone treatment

is... is decided upon.

But even with this thorough process,

for many, many years in Australia,
young people had to go to court

to access the treatment they needed.

When Georgie was 13,

she and her family decided
to challenge that.

To have a complete stranger
having to make a decision about my body

was really distressing,
and I felt really powerless.

So we appealed to change
both Stage 1 and Stage 2 treatments

so, um, trans kids and their families
wouldn't have to go to court.

And we won,
but it was only a partial victory.

So they, uh... they changed
the law surrounding Stage 1,

so then, um, families didn't have to go
to court for Stage 1 treatment,

but the law still stood for Stage 2.

So what it meant for me
was that I did have to go back to court,

and that was really scary.

[monitor beeping]

I can't get, um, female hormones
without the permission of court.

They give the order,
and it's not in the power of the doctors,

the parents, or me.

I don't have, legally,
the right to make that decision.

I need to...

um, they needed to determine
whether I was Gillick competent,

which means I know
what the effects will be.

I need the estrogen tablets.
I need to go through female puberty.

I get boobs.
[laughs] I get, um, curves, you know,

things that girls have, and I need it.

I need it to be myself,

and if I don't get it,
I'm not gonna be happy.

I'm not gonna be myself.

[soft rhythmic music plays]

I've got a pimple...

which is... I'm actually happy about,

sort of.

It means that the tablets are working,
and I'm...

Uh, well, it's working. [laughs] Yay.

[soft rhythmic music continues]

Firstly, kinda like to say
thank you so much for having us. Um...

So thankful that I'm able to speak today,
and hopefully we can do some good.

Okay, so, my name is Georgie Stone.
I'm 15 years old.

Last year, we had to apply
to the Family Court of Australia

to obtain Stage 2 treatment,
which is cross-sex hormones.

For the last five years,

court has played a big part
in my family's life.

At times, it overshadowed everything else.

I want to make sure this doesn't play
the same part in anyone else's life.

The court process is slow,
biology is fast.

The lives of trans kids
are challenging at every turn.

As parents, we walk ahead of our child,
almost like a landmine detector,

sweeping the terrain before us,
paving a safe pathway for them.

Most parents exhaust themselves
creating a safe place at school,

educating family and friends,

often being accused of causing it
in the first place or of child abuse.

Dealing with their own feelings
of being overwhelmed and isolated,

finding appropriate medical support,
family breakdown, kids harming themselves.

The pressure is enormous and relentless.

To add court to this already
intensely challenging situation

is unnecessary and cruel.

Legislation through Parliament
is our last hope,

so please help us.

[applause echoing]

[monitor beeping]

[breathing deeply]

[monitor beeps echoing]

[Greg] How did you feel
when you went to see Dr. Paul?

Yeah.

After Dr. Paul,
I felt much happier, much more safe.

[Greg] You didn't feel safe before that?

Well...

Well, no,

'cause not... not that many people
understood about me.

[monitor beeping]

[Dr. Telfer] Are you happy to talk about
the estrogen today and how that's going?

Last time I saw you,
we increased the dose.

Yeah, two milligrams.

- [Dr. Telfer] Yeah, how's that going?
- It's been good.

I mean, I do notice

I get a bit more annoyed
at my parents than before.

- Can you tell?
- [Beck] No.

And even if you were, I don't think
I'd take a blind bit of notice.

- Oh, good.
- [Beck] So...

Okay, so next time,
you might get a little bit of sassiness.

Will... will you mind? Okay, that's fine.

[Beck] All I notice is that you are
feeling good about yourself,

and that because
you're feeling good about yourself,

your focus is very positive
on other things

and that you're determined
to make the best life for yourself.

[ethereal music plays]

A lot of our work has revolved
around law reform for trans kids,

'cause they have to apply
to the Family Court of Australia

- Right.
- [Georgie] ...to access treatment.

Yeah. Great.

You've got a way to go
with trans awareness, do you think?

[Georgie] This isn't really a new issue,
but in the public eye, it is.

So there is a long way to go
making sure we battle the social stigma,

um, which is ingrained in our society.

[crowd cheering]

[upbeat music plays]

[crowd cheering]

Hey, so, update.

I'm gonna talk
a little bit about boys.

Ugh.

Okay, so I've had a crush on this guy
for about ten months,

big crush, um,

and turns out
he had a crush on my best friend.

Ugh.

[groaning]

[Dr. Telfer]
Uh, it's nearly three years, isn't it?

Having estrogen
before you're even looking at having

any of those sort
of major surgical procedures.

I can... I can do it.

My teachers all support me,
and why shouldn't I do it?

I've waited so long.

[Dr. Telfer] Yeah.

- And at 18, you're an adult.
- [Georgie] Yeah.

You can make those decisions,
and clearly you've got the ability

to... to make
a really good, informed decision,

and it's totally up to you.

[Georgie] So, yeah.

[breathing heavily]

[monitor beeping]

[Georgie] Going into the clinic today,

I started thinking,
"Okay, this is gonna happen."

- This is happening.
- [Beck] Yeah, I know. I know.

Yeah.

Really, the meaning of it is all... you.

[Georgie] Yeah.

[Beck] It's nobody else.

Yeah.

I have my feelings about it
because I want you to be...

who you want to be,
and I want you to be safe.

[Georgie] Mmm.

[Beck] But...

it's... it's just you.

It's just for you.

[Georgie] Mmm.

I don't want it to change things though.

[pensive music plays]

[tearfully] I don't want to be trans.

But it is who I am, so I can't really...

I try not to think about,
"Oh, I wish I wasn't trans."

I am trans, and I have to live with it.

And I will have to live
with it all my life.

I don't want this operation
to change anything

'cause I'm really happy.

[sniffles]

And, yeah,
I don't have the body that I want,

but I'm still female.

And I just don't want
this operation to change who I am.

[sniffles]

Obviously, I want it
to change my body, but I don't want it...

[swallows]

I don't want it
to change people's perceptions of me.

I don't want it to change
how I live my life and...

[sniffles] I still want to be Georgie.

[monitor beeping]

[melodica softly plays]

[children's voices echoing]

[melodica playing continues]

[Greg] Sweetie.

Hey.

[monitor beeping]

[Beck] You've had a lovely sleep.

- [weakly] I'm tired.
- [Beck] Mmm.

[Greg] You just keep sleeping
as long as you like.

[Beck] Okay. And is Justice Thackray

going to deliver that from court

or in chambers or...

[indistinct speaking over phone]

The judgment is gonna be handed down
tomorrow at midday.

- Wow.
- [Beck] Mmm...

It could all be over tomorrow.

That's crazy. It's like all that work,

everything is leading up to tomorrow.

[Beck] That would mean
a whole bunch of our friends

wouldn't have to go through it.

The kids wouldn't have to go through it.

[Georgie] My family and I were able
to reform Stage 1,

so we didn't have to go to court,

but you still have to for Stage 2.

Stage 2 treatment is cross-sex hormones.

That's beginning the puberty
that you want to undertake.

And this treatment for trans kids
is vital for our mental health,

for our physical health.

We really need this treatment.

My mum and I and lots of people

have been rallying support for this cause
to get this process out of the courts.

And hopefully, all that work has paid off.

- We'll see.
- [reporter] We'll see.

[hopeful music plays]

[monitor beeping]

[Dr. Telfer] We won!

[crowd applauding and cheering]

[laughing]

[Beck] Oh my God.

- [Dr. Telfer] Congratulations.
- [crying softly]

Congratulations.

[sobs]

[friend] The world's changing, hey?

Oh, darling girl.

[whispers] We won.

Can't believe it. [sobs]

- [cork pops]
- Oh jeez!

[crowd cheering]

And to all of you
for looking after our kids,

thank you, thank you.

[crowd applauding]

For the next ten, twenty, thirty years,

we will see
young people benefit from this,

and... I suspect that

those young people won't understand
what you've been through

and won't understand
the significance of that freedom

that they have to just access
the treatment they need,

but we will always remember

that, Georgie, it was you

that fought this first.

[tearfully] Thank you.

- [woman 1] Cheers.
- [woman 2] Cheers.

[Georgie] Over this past week,

I... I was scared.

- [Beck] Mmm.
- How I couldn't move my legs.

[Beck] Mmm.

Um, couldn't get out of the bed,
feeling trapped in there,

feeling sick a lot of the time.

It was just there were
so many things happening to my body.

All because of this operation
that I wanted.

Um, I started
a little bit to resent... resent it,

or scared of resenting it,

which is probably the truth.

I was scared
of resenting this thing that I wanted,

but... what made me so happy this morning,

when... when my dressing came off

and I saw my vagina for the first time,

is that when I saw it, I didn't hate it.

Um, I loved it.
And I said, "That's my vagina."

And I really loved it.

[sniffles]

Uh, swollen, stitches, all of it.

You know.

It didn't matter.

- [Beck] Mmm.
- I still loved it.

[door shuts]

I might try acting,
so I'm doing drama classes.

I would love to play
a trans person in a film about

all trans topics and make it realistic.

[writer] Welcome.

[Georgie] Thank you very much.

We're really, really excited
to tell the story,

and, uh, this is, um,
the Neighbours story team.

So we just wanted
to kind of get your guidance

to what is appropriate
and what isn't appropriate.

Yeah.

So, "transgender," is that an okay term?

- [Georgie] Transgender is the term.
- Is the correct...

[Georgie] Or trans.

In terms of pronouns, she, her.

- [writer] Yeah.
- Very simple.

Obviously, when you meet new people,
and they just know you as Georgie...

[Georgie] Yeah.

...when they eventually
or if they eventually learn

- that you're transgender...
- Yeah.

...do they change at all
in how they interact with you?

Well, I... I do... I do think
there are some assumptions

when meeting new people completely
about what my experience has been.

A big one that a lot of people have is,

"Oh, so you were born a boy,
but you want to be a girl."

And how I see my experience is

that I have always been female,

even... even when I was, you know,
two and a half, and I had short hair,

and people said "he," used male pronouns.

Um, I still see myself then as female,
but I was assigned male at birth.

Based on that experience
that you're describing,

the character would have always known.

Yeah. I've... I've always known who I am.

I've always been a girl.

[wistful music plays]

Why would he do that? I just wonder
if there's another beat in here.

[crew member] Do you like that?

Stand by.

[laughs]

[talks indistinctly]

Ugh.

[crowd cheering]

- Thank you.
- [crew member] Mark cue.

[clapboard clacks]

[sniffles]

[crew member] And set.

Cameras are set.

And... action!

[Georgie exhales]

[wistful melody plays]

[Georgie] Forever.

[kisses] For big ever.