Rebekah and her husband were excited when they had twin boys, George and Harry, and quickly settled into family life. George knew from a very early age, however, that she was really a girl, and started going by Georgie. While Rebekah was immediately on board with Georgie’s gender identity, dad was unsure at first about how to deal with this revelation. It didn’t take him long though, to realise what was happening and to join in with supporting Georgie’s expression of herself. Mum, dad and twin brother would go on to be some of the strongest allies you could imagine.
Starting school was rough, as Georgie had not yet made the social transition to being a girl, and she started experiencing bullying. This was the first of many stages that would be both heartbreaking and uplifting – on one hand, there were the friends and family who fully supported Georgie and were happy that she could be herself, yet on the other hand were schoolkids and their parents who rallied against having an openly transgender person in their community.
Another big struggle appeared when puberty blocking hormones were needed – Australia’s laws meant that this was not a decision that could be made by Georgie, her family and her doctors – the family court would have to intervene. With their incredible tenacity, some strong advocacy, and lawyers who took on the case pro bono, this family not only succeeded in getting what they needed, they also influenced a change to the law so that other families wouldn’t need to go through the same ordeal.
What really shines through, apart from Georgie’s surety in her identity and her courage to face a world that could be so cruel towards her, is the author’s dedication to her children and determination to change the world to fit them, rather than try to make them change to fit the world.
I found this book easy to read and it flows well – there are just some times when the timeline jumps around and can be a little confusing but I only found this to be a minor issue. I learned a lot about the current context of transgender identity in Australia, and how hard-won the gains have been. This book would be great reading for anyone, really.