12-year-old Isabella Langley-McNamara and her family want Australian law changed to make it easier for transgender children to access the treatment they need.
Isabelle (pictured on a 2014 episode of Four Corners) has travelled to Canberra with her family from her home in the regional town of Taggerty, near Melbourne, to meet with politicians to ask them to make it easier for her to access hormone treatment she needs to stop male puberty.
Isabelle will require the “stage two” hormone treatment in the next couple of years, but unlike other countries where it’s available, Australia requires the children to obtain permission from the Family Court in order to access it. This process is understood to take many months, cost $30,000 and up, and vary from state to state.
Isabelle wants this to change.
“I am a girl, I was born a girl, not a boy who wants to be a girl. Unfortunately for me, I was cursed with some physical characteristics that don’t match my identity as a girl,” she told News Corp.
“This has been very hard and very stressful. I am scared all the time about going through male puberty and not getting the right treatment that will help me have the body that I should.
“I don’t just want to access stage two treatment, I need to … so I can live my life and be happy.”
Michelle Telfer, from the Royal Children’s Hospital in Melbourne, accompanied Isabelle and a number of other transgender children to Canberra. Ms Telfer is a leading paediatrician in the field of gender dysphoria, and has treated almost 200 transgender children since 2012.
“There’s no one that benefits from having the court [process] in place,” she told The Guardian about accessing the treatments.
“The courts want this out of the courts. We have the doctors wanting out of the courts. We have the community engaged as a really strong group to want it out of the court.”