Words: Alastair James; pictures: TikTokfirstname.lastname@example.org and Instagram/@bambifairy
Former Home and Away star Mat Stevenson has ‘adopted’ his daughter’s transgender friend after her own father left due to her transitioning.
Stevenson, who played Adam Cameron in the Australian soap opera from 1989-1999, has symbolically adopted Belle Bambi, the best friend of his daughter Grace Hyland. Both are transgender.
Hyland and Bambi took to TikTok over the weekend to share videos of what happened.
“We’re sisters now!”
In a video on the social media platform Hyland, 20, hands a bouquet of flowers to Bambi, 23, with the caption: “My BFF’s dad left because she’s trans. So we did this!”
The video then cuts to Stevenson showing off a certificate of adoption while the caption and voiceover reads: “He’s always supported me, and he wants to support Bambi too”
The 'adoption' is not considered to be legally binding, but the certificate recognises Stevenson as Belle’s “chosen dad”, as reported by news.com.au.
Taking to her own TikTok channel, Belle said: "Finally a dad who accepts and loves me for who I am"
Hyland, who began transitioning aged 12, and Stevenson have appeared on the Australian current affairs program The Project to discuss Grace's transition.
“As young as like maybe four or five, just really feeling that I was a girl and I couldn’t explain it,” Grace said.
“And then by the time I was 14, I was fully presenting as Grace to the public and at school.”
Stevenson told the programme he was aware of the high suicide rate for transgender people and didn’t want to become a statistic.
“Sadly in this country, we have a really high adolescent suicide rate and it’s a tragedy. Trans-adolescents are 36 times more likely to self-harm, to commit suicide.”
LGBTIQ+ Health Australia recently reported that LGBTQA+ young people aged 16 to 17 were almost three times more likely to have attempted suicide in the past 12 months, and that transgender people aged 14-25 are fifteen times more likely to have attempted to take their own life.
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