When 11-year-old Campbell told his parents last year that he didn’t feel right in his body and that he felt he wanted to go through life as a girl, his mom Naomi and dad Andrew knew they had to act fast and support him during a time when he was feeling most vulnerable.
In a documentary that will air on ABC’s Four Corners Monday night, the Australian family shares the story of how Campbell became Isabelle – and how crucial it is for children to get immediate treatment when they express gender confusion, reports Daily Mail.
While relaying the family's story, the show reminds parents that statistics show that 30 percent of transgender children who fail to get treatment attempt suicide and that 50 percent reportedly engage in self-harming behaviors like cutting or burning themselves.
Andrew, who runs the family’s bed and breakfast, says Isabelle would come home from school and say she was “miserable” and “didn’t want to live.”
“There was probably a couple of months where she’d start a conversation with me saying I’m just feeling weird, I don’t feel right,” said Naomi, who is a social worker. “She said…I don’t like my body, and I said well…what do you mean? And she said…I feel like I’m a girl, I’m in the wrong body.”
Isabelle shared that she told her mom she “felt like a girl” and was “sick of living in this body.”
Realizing that they have an obligation to ensure their child’s future is a happy one, Naomi and Andrew took on the mammoth task of fighting the system so that Isabelle could fully enjoy her new identity as a girl. Although Australian families have recently been given the right to access puberty blockers, children must still be assessed by at least five doctors before being given cross changing hormones.
The family argues that during an already difficult time when tweens and teens face criticism for their choice, they are being asked to stand in court and receive consent before being allowed to proceed with the second part of this treatment.
Chief Justice Diana Bryant says she doesn’t believe the court should be involved in all cases. “Well, look, I’d like to see the High Court have the opportunity to examine these kinds of cases, these gender identity cases and to decide whether or not the court has to be involved at all,” Bryant said.