Australia is the only country in the world that requires transgender teenagers to go to family court before they can access hormone replacement therapy. And now, a community legal organization will help teens get the transition care they need without breaking the bank.
The group Justice Connect will connect trans youth with pro bono legal representation for the process of getting hormone treatment and/or puberty blockers. A family that doesn’t have pro bono representation can spend as much as $20,000 on the legal process.
People working with the project also acknowledge that it’s a temporary step as activists work to completely abolish the legal component of getting hormones.
Young transgender woman Georgie Stone, who has collected thousands of signatures on a petition to overturn the Family Court process, said going through the court was “one of the darkest times of my life”.
“I felt bad that my being transgender was forcing my family to go through court, my brother had a hard time. It impacted on all of us and I felt responsible for that. I know it’s not my fault and my family never made me feel that way, but that how this situation made me feel and that’s a burden I shouldn’t have to carry,” she said.
In late December, Family Court judge Peter Tree labelled the process “inhumane” and said there is an “urgent need” for government intervention to overturn it.
This is incredibly important work. More power to you all.