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Inside Neighbours Mackenzie star’s life – transgender journey to soap fame

With her advocacy, the Australian actress and transgender rights campaigner has broken new ground, and her burgeoning career continues to impress her peers. As the final season of Neighbours approaches, let’s take a look at her life away from the cameras…

Georgie Stone, who stars in the Australian series Neighbours, has become a groundbreaking child trans campaigner and adored TV celebrity at the age of 21.

Georgie has made history as the first trans character on the soap opera when she debuted as Mackenzie in 2019.

All eyes are on the child star’s next moves as the legendary serial comes to an end after 37 years on the air. She is happily established in Melbourne with her family and twin brother Harry.

Let’s take a look at Neighbours’ life, from her transition to a girl to her impassioned advocacy and successful job.

Transgender journey

Georgie reported that she was experiencing gender diversity and desired to transition to a girl when she first attended Melbourne’s Royal Children’s Hospital in 2007.

Georgie made the shift to female at the age of eight, following a lengthy legal struggle over hormone blockers.

“I was powerless,” Georgie said of that time.

She went on to say: “There was someone up there making a very important decision about my body, it felt really wrong.”

Georgie became Australia’s youngest person to be granted reversible hormone blockers at the age of ten, and her treatment set a precedent that led to a change in the law regarding hormone treatment for young trans individuals.

Georgie thinks she is fortunate not to carry a big burden of guilt with her, in part because she grew up with loving parents, however she tells HuffPost UK that the “process” of dealing with shame is ever-present in her life.

“It’s weird, because I’m proud of who I am and I’m proud to be trans, and then sometimes there are these moments that I just really wish that I wasn’t,” Georgie told the Huffington Post.

Dreaming about acting

The young actress, determined to pursue her ambition of becoming an actress, set her sights on Australia’s most popular serial, Neighbours.

Faced with a lack of transgender characters on the soap, Georgie penned a letter to one of the show’s executives in the hopes of landing a position.

Georgie told HuffPost UK, “I genuinely had to invent this character for myself.”

“In Australia, there are no roles.” None. To get a role, I had to write to an executive producer.

“That’s how scarce these opportunities are.”

Since joining the Australian soap as Mackenzie in 2019, Georgie has worked hard with scriptwriters to ensure that her character is as representative of the trans experience as possible.

“It is a very personal subject and I wanted it to be done well and respectfully,” said Georgie, speaking of her character’s storyline which sees her transition from male to female.

“It is about the surgery,” she continued, “but it’s more about making it clear that this surgery isn’t making Mackenzie a girl – she is already a girl.”

Georgie calls Mackenzie “an alternative reality version of myself”: less confident, less comfortable in her own skin, but ultimately sharing the powerful experience of being trans in this era of change for transgender people.

Activism

Georgie has earned multiple honours for her advocacy in the LGBTQ+ community, having studied for a Bachelor of Arts degree at the University of Melbourne and having a huge break as an actress on Neighbours.

Georgie gathered 16,000 signatures on a Change.org petition in support of gender hormone therapy and met with then-Attorney-General George Brandis during her transition.

Georgie was named to the Gay News Network’s list of 25 LGBTI Australians to Watch in 2017 and 2016.

Georgie went on to win the Victorian Young Australian of the Year Award in 2018, where she met the Duke and Duchess of Sussex.

She praised Prince Harry for the Invictus Games, stating that as a proud, young trans woman, she found the theme of celebrating diversity personally motivating.

She made history as the youngest person to receive a Medal of the Order of Australia in 2017, when she was named a winner of the Human Rights Awards.

“I want to do it all,” she says. “I feel like I’m finally learning who I am outside of being trans. And that feels good,” she told Woman’s Weekly.

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