In quite monumental news, longstanding television soap Neighbours will make history next month. Transgender youth activist and Victorian Young Person of the Year Georgie Stone is joining the Ramsay Street gang as the shows first ever trans character.
In a new interview with Australian Women’s Weekly, Stone has highlighted the importance of having this scope of representation on national television.
“She’s absolutely the character I wish I had seen as a kid,” Georgie shared. “I would have gone to this place of self-acceptance sooner if I had seen a happy, high-achieving trans character growing up.’”
Georgie continues to detail how she got the stint in Neighbours. Her father Greg acted on the show back in 2016, so she put together a pitch for a trans character and asked her dad to forward it to the Executive Producer. Within two hours an email came through expressing interest in the idea, and Georgie was invited for an audition.
The actress has explained that she worked closely with the show’s writers to form a believable character.
“It’s a soap, so we knew it had to have elements of drama,” says Georgie. “I help them to ensure it’s truthful at the same time as dramatic by not shying away from the experiences trans people face – coming out, relationships, good allies who listen, internalised shame from bullying.”
Stone was awarded Victoria’s Young Australian of the Year in 2018, for her efforts as a transgender youth advocate. Georgie’s campaigning influenced the change of law around access to the first stage of medical treatment for transgender youth.
Georgie hopes that her character, Mackenzie, will resonate with trans youth that have felt isolated and underrepresented.
“I really hope that there will be some trans young people out there who have felt isolated before and then see this character and feel that they are not alone, or that they feel OK to be who they are, and that this story can teach other people how to treat trans young people.”