It's not exactly easy being a transgender teenager anywhere in the world, but in Australia, the current system makes it especially difficult to obtain the drugs needed for hormone therapy. Transgender teens hoping to obtain medical treatment are forced to go through the Family Court - a process which is expensive and not always easily accessible. So some desperate adolescents (and their parents) are turning to the internet's black market to obtain the drugs, reports ABC News.
It's a worrying trend for many reasons, among them the risk that teenagers receive the wrong dose of gender-affirming hormones. And taking the wrong dosage won;t just give you a headache - it has side effects as serious as blood clots, strokes and pulmonary emboli. And if you're wondering why transgender teens and their families are taking to such desperate measures - it comes down to a matter of timing. For transgender kids on the verge of adolescence, obtaining the drugs in time to stop the effects of puberty is paramount.
It's so crucial that transgender teen Georgie Stone is lobbying to have the jurisdiction overturned. At 11, Georgie was the youngest person in Australia to be granted pubertal suppression hormones and she believes that the decision to start hormones should come from the family and doctors first. Australia is the only country in the world who require transgender teens go through the Family Court to obtain hormones.