‘I’m Genuinely Fearful’: Georgie Stone Calls For Greater Protection For Trans Australians

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Content warning: This article discusses transphobia and could be distressing to some readers.
Trans activist Georgie Stone says that she feels "genuinely fearful" for her safety in the wake of growing anti-trans sentiment in Australia over the past few weeks.
Last month, about 30 people from the National Socialist Movement performed the Nazi salute on the steps of Victorian parliament during a Melbourne anti-trans rights rally. Holding signs that made offensive comments about trans people, many of these people clashed with others who were counter-protesting in support of trans rights.
"Usually in speeches like these, I try to put on a brave face. But the truth is, I'm genuinely fearful for my safety," Stone said during an address at the National Press Club on Tuesday.
"I'm tired of feeling targeted. I am tired of going to sleep at night worried about what hateful, horrible messages I will wake up to. This last month has been a taste of what has been happening to trans people here and all around the world."
Stone made history in 2013 when she became the youngest person in Australia to be granted hormone blockers at the age of 10. In 2017 she was successful in helping change a law that meant trans children would no longer need approval from the Family Court to access hormone treatment.
In her speech on Tuesday, Stone called for the government to meet three calls for action:
— To increase funding for family support organisations
— To ensure and protect access to gender-affirming health care
— To introduce anti-vilification laws to stop the harmful spread of misinformation and hate speech
"I call on our political leaders, our law and policy makers, community leaders and our nation to stand with trans people," she said, adding that people can't simply be allies during certain events like World Pride.
"This weight that we’re carrying is crushing and relentless,” she said. "We need our allies to shoulder some of the burden. Because you can’t celebrate with us at World Pride and then scatter when the attacks come.
"If you want the pride and the glitter and the confetti, you also have to stand with us when it’s uncomfortable and scary, too."
Last month the aforementioned anti-trans rallies followed so-called 'pro-woman' activist Posie Parker's speaking tour in Australia. Following this, on March 31, many Aussies marched in the Trans Day of Visibility rallies in Sydney, Melbourne and Brisbane in support of trans rights.
In the US, there have been growing concerns about more anti-trans sentiment as several bills from this year alone have targeted gender-affirming care for youth and access to public spaces for drag performances. Last month anti-trans rhetoric was displayed at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC), where American conservatives called for "transgenderism" to be "eradicated from public life entirely".
"This last month has been incredibly difficult for us, I am holding the hearts of fellow trans Australians in my mind and acknowledge the collective trauma and pain caused by recent events," said Stone.
"We have heard dangerous anti-trans rhetoric amplified in every major city in Australia, we have seen Neo-Nazis out in the open, on the steps of Parliament House in Melbourne."
Describing these people's words as "treacherous and deceitful", the actor and writer said it's important to remember that these "are not new sentiments".
"We have been attacked and threatened our whole lives."
If you or anyone you know is needs support, please contact Lifeline (131 114) or Beyond Blue (1300 22 4636). Support is available 24/7. Confidential support is also available via QLife, an Australia-wide anonymous LGBTI peer support and referral for people wanting to talk about a range of issues including sexuality, identity, gender, bodies, feelings or relationships.
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