Trans Neighbours star Georgie Stone says surgery ‘won’t make her character Mackenzie a girl because she already is’
This week, Neighbours fans will see Mackenzie Hargreaves, played by trans actor Georgie Stone, have her gender confirmation surgery and finally feel “like her true self”.
Georgie Stone, the first trans actor to ever star on Neighbours, told PinkNews how the storyline is shattering misconceptions, “humanising” trans folk and educating people around the world.
“I think because this story hasn’t really been told very much before, it’s a subject that a lot of trans people don’t feel comfortable with talking about because it is very private and there are a lot of misconceptions around surgery,” she said.
“I think it will be significant because for many people it will be the first time they are learning about gender confirmation surgery for trans people and why it’s important.”
Stone said that the show will not only educate who know nothing about transitioning, but will also show young trans people that surgery should not be something “they are pressured into doing or that they feel like they have to do to be who they are”.
“Surgery isn’t going to make Mackenzie a girl, she already is.”
She added that the storyline makes sure to show “that not all trans people want to have surgery or can have surgery”.
“Surgery isn’t going to make Mackenzie a girl, she already is,” she stressed.
“The storyline really does revolve around the mental process, more than I think the physical process.
“We do see the aftermath of the surgery and her recovery and how that does take a toll on her physically, but really what the storyline involves is Mackenzie’s decision to have surgery and why that’s important to her.
“That is kind of discussed through the conversations she has with Richie [Mackenzie’s boyfriend], and she tells him that she’s doing this for herself and it’s not for his benefit, not for anyone else’s benefit, but her own.”
The recovery from the surgery, Stone said, is “overwhelming” for Mackenzie, as she realises she can “move forwards with her life”.
“This is something she’s always been waiting for, and now that it’s happened it’s not really a matter of her finally feeling like her true self, but finally feeling like she has everything she needs to move forwards in her life and be herself.”
Neighbours star Georgie Stone believes trans actors need to be in trans roles.
Although as a trans actor, Georgie Stone is able to draw on her own experiences, she said it was a “balance” portraying Mackenzie.
“I did look at my own experience in a way, just so it feels truthful and realistic, but a lot of Mackenzie’s circumstances are very different to me.”
Asked whether it’s important for trans actors to be cast in trans roles, she said: “I think it is, I really think it is, because trans people don’t get a lot of opportunities.
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“Often for the telling of our own stories, we’re not invited.
“There are so many incredible, wonderful trans actors out there that could be cast and could be really good in these roles and in terms of the ratio of trans roles and cisgender roles… I think it’s absolutely reasonable that trans actors should be playing trans roles.
“If we are going to be shunned to the side in so many different scenarios, we should at least be able to play trans characters in movies and TV shows.”
Ultimately, Stone wants the storyline to “humanise” Mackenzie.
“So often trans characters are reduced solely to their trans experience, but Mackenzie is human, she’s three dimensional.
“She’s complicated, there’s so much going on in her life, and I would like [viewers] to see Kenzie for who she is, which is not just a girl, but as a teenager who has hopes, dreams, she has a beautiful relationship with Richie… There’s so much to her, so I really want viewers to see her humanity and see her as a person.
“That’s what we want really at the end of the day, and that’s what we all want, to be seen as the whole that we are.”
Neighbours airs weekdays at 1:45pm and 5:30pm on Channel 5.