An actor, activist and the first person to play a trans character on Neighbours — Georgie Stone is known as many things today, but a new Netflix documentary showcases the tumultuous journey that's brought the now-22-year-old to where she is.
Assigned male at birth, Stone knew from the age of two that she "wanted a vagina", and by the time she was eight, she had fully transitioned within the family. In 2013, she became the youngest person in Australia to be granted hormone blockers at the age of 10. That was merely the start of her historic fight for transgender rights that has captured the attention of Australian media, politicians and the trans community.
The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone chronicles the first 19 years of Stone's life from child to teen activist, and for the first time, Stone feels she was able to have a say in the way her story has been communicated to the public.
"I've never really had agency in my own life story," she recently told The Guardian. "[Dreamlife] is the first time in my life that I've actually had control over the way my story has been told."
While 30 minutes may sound like a minuscule amount of time to capture the emotional rollercoaster of Stone's life that's been spent in and out of courtrooms and medical facilities, the doco manages to do just that.
From home videos of Stone as a kid telling her dad she's "frustrated" that people called her a "beautiful boy", to her own webcam-recorded clips in which her teen self speaks of having a crush on a boy, viewers will see the process of Stone finding her voice and emerging into adulthood amidst all of the noise and commentary around her.
The doco's director Maya Newell combines these personal archives with professional footage taken by her team over several years in the lead-up to a pivotal moment for Stone: her gender affirmation surgery.
Viewers will also the emotional moment Stone hears of the 2017 landmark ruling allowing young trans people in Australia to no longer have to go through the Family Court to access stage two hormone treatment — something she and her family had been fighting for for years.
Plus, the cameras take us into the writer's room of Australian soap Neighbours, where Stone learnt she would be the first person to play a trans character on the show.
In a post shared on her Instagram account this week, Stone described working with Newell and her team on the project over the "last 8 years" as a "dream come true".
"Thank you for creating a safe space for me to be open and vulnerable on camera," she wrote. "And thank you for giving me agency over my story for the first time in my life."
Stone struggled to see trans representation in the media growing up, and hopes that this documentary will help others in the community feel less alone, while reminding wider audiences we are far from a society where trans people are protected from vitriol, violence and their voice being silenced.
"I hope everyone can get something out of this story — but I dedicate Dreamlife to the trans community," she wrote. "Here’s to a future where we can live our lives truthfully, safely and with agency."
The Dreamlife of Georgie Stone is available to stream on Netflix now.