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Book Review of “About A Girl”: transgender lives in Australia

Book cover of About A Girl: A Mother’s Powerful Story of Raising her Transgender Child by Rebekah Roberston. Book cover shows a portrait photography of a girl with medium brown hair with blue eyes looking into the camera.

About a Girl was written by Rebekah Robertson about her experiences as a mother of twins, and as a mother of a trans daughter. Although this goes beyond being just a memoir. I feel it is also a call to action which is both educational and deeply personal. Robertson wrote the book with Georgie’s (her daughter) and her families permission, which I also think is really important to mention here. Consent, especially when it comes to the intimacies of gender affirming medical interventions should definitely be given and discussed. It chronicles Georgie’s birth (she was a beautiful twin) and upbringing as she undergoes gender affirming procedures to realise her true gender identity.

It is both a beautiful story to read, and yet it also broke my heart. It is a very sobering reminder that for all the leaps and bounds we have made in society, there is still so much more work that has to be done. When this come to trans rights, support, and advocacy it is even more. Robertson talks about her family’s struggle to financially support Georige’s gender-affirming medical care in Australia. Not to mention the emotional and familial struggles that occur. Furthermore, she details her family’s and specifically her daughter Georgie’s legal battles to have puberty blockers and hormone therapy as a teenager. On the one hand, many legislatures feel they are looking after children’s rights and needs by blocking these kinds of therapies until they are older. On the other hand, children who know who they are – really know who they are – need to fight in court and pay large legal fees to have medical therapies and procedures that would affirm them. On a more complicated note, not having these therapies early enough can result in bodily changes that then later require more medical and surgical interventions.

I have always given my support of trans folx around the globe, but this is the first time that I have read and engaged with an Australian autobiographical work on the topic. Robertson does a beautiful job of describing her families triumphs and losses throughout Georgie’s transition. I was overcome with emotion at the end of the book, as I felt like despite all the struggles, they got the happy ending they deserved.

If you have ever wondered what it might be like to be trans in Australia, or especially if you have a trans child in Australia, then this is a must-read. Honestly though, this is a must-read for any Australian who wants to be a better ally to the trans community.

Please tell me your favourite trans and non-binary books in the comments. I want both fiction and non-fiction recommendations. As always, share the reading love.