Make Me a Man
FTM Documentary to Air in England
I wasn't like my sisters growing up. They wore make-up and got on with it. I always wanted to live my life differently. And I always wanted to grow up to be a man.
Wednesday 31st July and 7th August, Channel 4 (England) will be screening two one hour documentaries, entitled 'Make Me a Man' from 9pm to 10pm.
A year in the making, this ground-breaking two-part series tells the story of four female-to-male transsexuals - all at different stages of the process of changing sex to become men. From their struggles to get treatment, the dramatic effects of testosterone as their voices drop and they transform into men, the radical surgery to reshape their chests and create a penis, and the impact that their sex-changes have on their friends, family and lovers. MAKE ME A MAN takes us into a previously hidden world of female-to-male transsexuals.
There are now over 2,000 female-to-male transsexuals in the UK. Unlike many male-to-females who struggle to 'pass' as women, the effects of the testosterone are often so dramatic that after a few years most female-to-males are simply indistinguishable from biological men. A landmark decision at the European Court of Human Rights this month (July 11) means that British transsexuals will soon be able to change the gender on their birth certificate and to get married.
This is something that STEPHEN, a successful lawyer who has lived as a man for 25 years, has been campaigning for. Now father to a family of four, he is about to go for the final part of his sex-change - getting a penis. The operation is carried out in stages, beginning with laser hair removal on the operation site (his tummy). His partner, Sarah, is right behind him. There is also cause for celebration. The European Court ruling means that for the first time in their 24-year relationship Stephen will soon be recognised as a man and the father of the four much-loved children that he and Sarah have had by donor insemination. But will this high-risk operation be a success?
SCOTT is a busy young professional. Yet until relatively recently he was still a woman called Sarah. As a child Sarah dreamt she would grow up to become a boy. As puberty hit she slashed her own body with a razor and tried to take her own life. "Sarah was a little boy," says SUZIE, Scott's mum. "There was nothing feminine about him. By the time she was 8, I knew she was a little boy trapped in a girl's body." Now Scott is living as a man and taking testosterone. Only his hated breasts serve as a reminder of the woman he once was. But all this is set to change as Scott finds a surgeon to remove his breasts and reshape his chest. Will the operation give him the male torso he so longs for?
LEE and BOB love each other. They have been living together as gay women for the past four years. Now they both want to become men and stay together as a couple. "Every minute, every second that you spend with a body that you hate because it's all wrong, it's a nightmare." says Bob.
Of the two Lee is having the most trouble convincing people that he's right for treatment; psychiatrists find it hard to see past his feminine exterior. Lee's dad KIER on the other hand couldn't be more supportive: 'It upsets me that my little girl will expose herself to bigotry and hatred, but it also makes me proud that she's willing to go through with it.' Will Bob and Lee be accepted for treatment and can their relationship withstand the strain?
Prod/dir: Katie Buchanan
Series Dir: Claire Paterson
Prod co: RDF
Comm ed: Danny Cohen
Press Contact: Sophie Toumazis at tpr [email protected]
Picture Publicity: Jason McCombie [email protected]