A 12-year-old Australian child has been permitted to start using drug therapy to begin the gender change process.
The child, known only as “Jodie,” was born male but has been raised as a girl since early childhood. The Courier Mail reports the Family Court of Australia has given permission for Jodie to start using puberty blocking drugs that will prevent her voice from deepening and will stop her from growing facial hair.
Jodie was diagnosed as having a gender identity disorder as an infant and has been undergoing psychiatric treatment for over a decade. The Family Court ruling was granted after doctors testified Jodie was at risk of self harm and significant clinical depression. As reported in The Australian, Justice Christine Dawe declared, “…the child is likely to suffer significant, detrimental, psychological and emotional effects” if Stage 1 of the treatment was not commenced.
Stage 1 of the treatment involves quarterly hormonal injections until Jodie is 16 years old and is a reversible process. The decision to allow Jodie to move onto Stage 2 of the gender change is currently resting on a Full Court appeal. In Stage 2 of the therapy, Jodie will undergo estrogen treatment to become female by the time she reaches 16 years of age.
President of the Australian Transgender Support Association of Australia Queensland, Gina Mather said gender identity disorders are relatively common in children and young people, and up to 6,000 children in Queensland had sought professional help in the last 20 years. This is the fourth case in Australia where a child under 16 has been legally allowed to begin gender change hormone therapy.