Evie Macdonald, 13, caught the world’s attention when she sent a powerful video message to Australia’s Prime Minister, Scott Morrison.
In it she confronted Morrison over a tweet in which he criticized a program to train school teachers in how to recognize potential trans students. Her video was played to the PM on the prime time TV news show, The Project.
‘We do not need “gender whisperers” in our schools,’ he tweeted. ‘Let kids be kids.’
The PM’s comments cut deep for her.
‘I personally felt really disrespected and hurt,’ she told Gay Star News.
‘What does he mean when he said he “wanted kids to be kids”? We’re all kids, there’s no difference between us.’
Evie the fighter
That video has made Evie a viral sensation, but it’s not the first time the teenager has spoken up for trans rights. Alongside her mom, Meagan, the two have led the fight for better rights and awareness for trans children.
It is not uncommon for Evie to leave a room of adults in tears and awe after she has given one of her impassioned speeches about trans kids’ rights.
She’s vowed not to give up her fight until she has convinced people trans kids exist and is even more determined after the PM’s comments. Evie said someone with as much influence as the PM should be more responsible with what he says.
‘Motivation. What he said actually makes me want to put myself out there more and try harder,’ she said.
Evie the star
If Evie seems confident on camera, it’s because she was born to be star. Her mom, Meagan, admits Evie ‘loves being in front of the camera’.
Before becoming a well-known trans activist, Evie made history when she became the first trans child actor cast in a film to play a trans role.
Last year she debuted in ‘First Day’ a film about a child transitioning at school.
‘Since I was born I always wanted to act,’ Evie said.
Since First Day premiered, Evie has fielded other acting offers and even Hollywood agents have courted her.
But if acting doesn’t work out for Evie, she has a back-up plan.
‘If can’t act I want to be an obstetrician,’ she said.
‘When I was younger and when I first found out I couldn’t have kids (because of her transition), I was like “if I can’t have kids I want to be able to help others have kids”.’
Evie the regular teenager
But on top of her budding acting career and keeping busy taking on Australia’s most powerful man, what Evie wants is to remind people she’s just a regular kid and that all trans kids are regular kids.
‘I have 100 problems, but none of them are from being trans,’ she said.
‘We’re no different to other people. I was looking at Snapchat videos today and all my friends were taking videos of me and others. And you can’t tell us apart.’
Evie thinks the solution to getting trans rights and ending discrimination is through education. She thinks programs like the one the PM criticized and the now defunded LGBTI Safe Schools program are critical.
‘I wish people would learn it (trans awareness) from when they were little so they are taught a different point of view because it’s hard to change a person’s mind when they’ve been like that for a long time,’ she said.
‘I hope people can realise we’re everyday kids.’