Brave story behind kid’s question to PM
SHE made headlines as the girl brave enough to challenge Scott Morrison on national television.
During the new Prime Minister's first appearance on The Project earlier this month, 13-year-old transgender teen Evie Macdonald confronted Mr Morrison over his controversial comments about "gender whisperers" in schools.
Speaking to Carrie Bickmore on Wednesday night, Evie revealed the heartbreaking backstory behind her question.
Born Ethan, Evie said she had known from an early age that she was really a girl.
"I was loved and everything but I just wasn't as happy as I could be. Being called 'he' all the time was confusing," Evie said.
"It was like a camp four-year-old running around … everything about her was just really feminine," Evie's mum Meagan added. "So my husband and I at the time sat there and went, we need to teach this kid how to be a boy."
But after realising it was more than just Evie not liking sports, Meagan decided to let the child be herself.
But unfortunately for Evie she struggled with suicidal thoughts and a school that refused to accept her female identity.
"At one stage, she thought that heaven for her would be the only place that she could actually live and be who she needed to be. You don't want that for any kid," Meagan said.
"What was going on in your head during that time?" A visibly emotional Bickmore asked Evie.
"Just a lot of confusion, anger and sadness," she answered. "It was just overwhelming me over the years."
At school, Evie claims a teacher made her rub out her name on a school test and she was sent to counselling without her parents' permission.
But the worse incident occurred when a male teacher "dragged her across the room" to separate Evie from a group of girls.
"That was the last day she went to (that) school," Meagan said, explaining that Evie was now happily settled at a more accepting school.
During Evie's question to Mr Morrison earlier this month, the teen said she "had to pretend to be a boy and spend weeks in conversion therapy" at her Christian school.
"We get one childhood and mine was stolen from me by attitudes like this," she said.
Appearing taken off guard by Evie's statement Mr Morrison said he loves "all Australians, whatever the background they come from".
The Prime Minister added that kids should be "allowed to be kids" and that parents' wishes should be respected.
"I don't think teachers get to take the place of parents and the choices that families make. They're the choices that families should make together," he said.
"There is a place for clinical advice, there is a place for clinical counselling, but at the end of the day in our schools I don't want to see children taking on the role of parents."
There aren’t many teenagers brave enough to take on the PM but earlier this month, Evie Macdonald did just that. @BickmoreCarrie caught up with the amazing advocate for transgender kids to find out what drives her. #TheProjectTV pic.twitter.com/ZfkXXpCZTg— The Project (@theprojecttv) 19 September 2018