‘Nothing about me,in any meaningful way,was male’:How Georgie’s mum kept her alive

Assigned male at birth,Georgie Stone,22,was a toddler when she told her mother,Rebekah Robertson,55,that she was a girl. Both actors,they have since fought to improve life for trans kids – between countless cups of tea.

Georgie Stone says having her mum,Rebekah Robertson,on her side “was everything. I wouldn’t be alive without her.”

Georgie Stone says having her mum,Rebekah Robertson,on her side “was everything. I wouldn’t be alive without her.”Justin McManus

Georgie: I was a playful kid with a big imagination. Mum and Dad[actor Greg Stone] would direct these home videos and my twin brother and I loved it. Mum once played a snake,wriggling around on the floor in a sleeping bag;she fully committed,and that included parenting. I knew she loved being our mum.

I disagree with people saying I was born a boy because nothing about me,in any meaningful way,was male. I remember watchingCinderella at about three and thinking,“That’s me. I’m not the prince. I’m not the mouse. I’m Cinderella.”

I don’t think my parents had ever heard of trans kids. They knew of trans people,but just through the media;they were either in prison or prostitutes. Still,Mum’s reaction was,“Let’s find out what this is and how we can support her.” Dad’s[initial] reaction was more to stop it. He might have thought Mum was encouraging it.

When I started school,I was still using male pronouns and my deadname;I started to transition around seven. Boys in year 5 would call me a freak and follow me around,asking,“Are you a boy or a girl?” It sent the message there was something wrong with me,which deep down I believed. But Mum was always that place of comfort;she’d tell me I was okay. Other parents accused her of child abuse,of causing my trans-ness,which is bullshit.

“Mum tells me the instinct as a woman is to make yourself smaller,so she encourages me not to do that.”

I started on puberty blockers before I turned 11 and did that until 17 or 18. There were lots of injections and I’d get anxious every time,so Mum bought me a bracelet and,with every injection,she’d add a charm representing something in my life,like a witch because I loved Hermione inHarry Potter. There were 27 by the end.

Having Mum on my side was everything. I wouldn’t be alive without her. When I was seven,I told her things would be easier if I were dead. I felt like a burden when we had to go to court[at 10,to access puberty blockers],because that put a strain on my parents. They separated when I was 13 and I thought it might have been my fault,but they told me it wasn’t. When I was 15,we had to go back to court to access gender-affirming hormones,and I’d see Mum on the phone,almost tearing her hair out with stress. She was running a support group,working full-time as a voice actor,cooking dinner every night. She was exhausted.

Mum tells me the instinct as a woman is to make yourself smaller,so she encourages me not to do that. She was excited when I emailedNeighbours pitching a character,because I wasn’t just acting,I was helping craft the story.[Georgie joinedNeighbours in 2019 as itsfirst trans character. A documentary,The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone,comes out on Netflix on September 22.]

Home is sitting in the kitchen with Mum drinking tea,talking about our day. We love period dramas. We scroll real-estate websites and show each other houses. Beyond the emotional support,we just get on well together. I know she loves me. I just feel it.

Rebekah:I was halfway through my pregnancy before I found out I was having twins – what an unexpected bonus. I wasn’t interested in their sexes;I never asked. When they were born,Harry was struggling and was taken to the special-care nursery. Georgie and I were left together and it was the beginning of a beautiful,long conversation.

Becoming a mum was a significant shift. Suddenly,I felt reduced to a role;even now,when people just refer to me as “Mum”,it doesn’t go down well. But the most special relationship I’ve ever formed is with my kids. Parenting is a sacred responsibility;you bring kids into the world,you better be up for it. That’s not to say we can’t be imperfect or challenged by it … but if you expect kids to fulfil some random criteria,you’re in for disappointment. They’ll be who they are.

Georgie was 2½ when she first told me she should be a girl. She didn’t feel safe to dress up at kindy,and by seven there was a lot of bullying. We started seeing a specialist at[Melbourne’s] Royal Children’s Hospital.

The child who came home from school every day was deeply sad,and there was a horrible incident at a school swimming carnival when she was eight. The school made her use the boys’ change rooms and there were grade-six boys in there. I’m outside and can hear them haranguing my child. She came out dishevelled and in tears. I told the principal,“She will never use a male bathroom again.” And she never has. I will never have Georgie in a position where she’s expected to abandon herself for the benefit or comfort of any system,any corporation,any government.

“I will never have Georgie in a position where she’s expected to abandon herself for the benefit of any system.”

People thought I was encouraging it by entertaining the idea that Georgie might be right about herself,but I chose to back Georgie. It was so lonely. And if it was lonely for me,imagine how it was for her. There’s nothing more hurtful than someone close to you judging you. But I used to care a lot more about what people thought of me. I used to be a lot nicer. Now I’m just real. You shouldn’t lose anyone from supporting a queer kid.

Going through the family court was difficult for Georgie because strangers were making decisions about her body for her. It’s the definition of powerlessness. It’s traumatic when your child writes a letter to the judge and begs. That was a dark time. She’s gone to Parliament House,slammed a petition on[then federal attorney-general] George Brandis’s desk and said,“This needs to change.” She’s learnt she can participate in our democracy and has a right to.

Georgie is a consistently lovely human. She sees me in a way that only a handful of people do,and that means everything to me. If I suggest a cup of tea,she says,“Ooh,yes please!” It’s the “Ooh” at the beginning,like it’s the very pinnacle of a great thing to do. We also love long drives and singing along to Taylor Swift.

There’s a lot of joy in Georgie Stone. I admire her enthusiasm. I love that she wants a big life. And I love that she’s going to have one.


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