A trans teen who has been a vocal advocate for young gender diverse people has just been approved to start taking gender affirming hormone treatment.
Australian teen, Evie Macdonald, will start hormone treatment after being put on puberty blockers at the age of 13. In a video filmed by her mom, Evie bursts into tears when she’s told the good news.
‘It makes me feel better about myself and makes me feel more me,’ Evie told Gay Star News about starting hormone treatment.
Evie, 14, shot to fame after she confronted Prime Minister Scott Morrison. She took him to task over his tweet criticizing a program to train school teachers in how to recognize potential trans students. Evie also made history when she became the first trans child actor to play a trans character in Australia.
Her mom, Meagan, said ‘Evie has waited for this moment for years’.
‘Evie has been seeing a paediatrician and psychiatrists since she was nine years old,’ she said.
‘So the process has been years really. She started blockers on her 13th birthday and that went really well so we’ve just been waiting for her body to be ready.
‘We’ve been waiting for her to grow and be at an age that she is more mature and competent.’
Macdonald explained why not letting Evie take hormones would be like abuse.
‘There was once upon a time when I felt that this would be too much but now it’s seriously just like what’s meant to be,’ she told GSN.
‘To deny her would be abuse. This is a integral part of who she is. We don’t deny other children who need medical treatment so for me it’s just like that.’
Stage 2 hormone treatment
In 2017, it became a lot easier for people under the age of 18 to start hormone treatment in Australia. Previously families had to get permission from the Family Court for a trans teen to start Stage 2 hormone treatment. This process could take years and cost families thousands of dollars.
This was despite going through rigorous medical and psychological assessment and having the permission of their parents. Australia was the only country in the world that required court involvement in Stage 2 decision-making.
Medical experts agree that delaying hormone treatments leads to distress and is a necessary step.
‘Delaying the provision of gender-affirming hormones can cause significant mental distress to a group of young people who are already at high risk for mental health concerns and suicide attempts,’ Penelope Strauss from Telethon Kids Institute told The Conversation in 2017.
‘Young trans people in Australia experience depression and anxiety at a rate about ten-times higher than other young people.
‘Stage two is a necessary therapeutic step for many trans people and for many [it] will have a significant positive impact on their mental health.’