Press Centre

Transformation Street

  • Episode: 

    1 of 3

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Thu 11 Jan 2018
  • TX Confirmed: 

    Yes
  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 02 2018 : Sat 06 Jan - Fri 12 Jan
  • Channel: 

    ITV
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Transformation Street
 
“Boy or girl, I still love him, that doesn’t change. It’s kind of like a grieving process for Lauren. And then I have to think, I’ve got a new son.” Karen, mum to Lucas.
 
From firemen to soldiers, railway workers to writers, this series follows the extraordinary transformations of men and women from all over the UK, who believe they were born into the wrong body, as they approach and undergo the highs and lows of life-changing transgender surgery.
 
The brand new three-part documentary series for ITV has been filmed over a 12-month period with unprecedented access to a private clinic on Wimpole Street in London. On this street, transformations become reality for people who share everything from waiting room laughs with fellow patients, receptionists and clinic staff, to the surgery itself and the impact their transition has on those closest to them.
 
The clinic has seen a huge number of applications for the surgery from people who identify as trans, from truck drivers to care workers and even a dominatrix, from Bognor to Birmingham, as they make the biggest change of their lives. We follow their incredible journeys, from hormonal treatments, makeovers and voice coaching, to the final step of gender confirmation surgery itself. 
 
The number of adults seeking medical intervention to change their gender has more than doubled in the last five years. But with up to two-and-a-half years to wait currently on the NHS just for an initial consultation, many patients are turning to private clinics. The clinic is run by world-renowned plastic surgeon Christopher Inglefield, who specialises in transgender surgery and has been performing procedures for over ten years.
20-year-old Lucas was born a girl but has been living as a man for two years. He arrives at the clinic with his mum Karen, for a consultation about having his breasts removed. 
 
Lucas explains: “I want her to be included as much as possible, because at the end of the day if it wasn’t for mum, there wouldn’t be me…she (just) baked me wrong in the oven!”
 
After struggling through puberty, Lucas eventually realised that he wasn’t merely the tomboy that everyone believed him to be, but actually a boy born in the wrong body. The programme follows his transition as he starts to take male hormones and goes through his breast removal surgery. Meanwhile Lucas’s mum, Karen, has to learn to embrace her new son while watching her only daughter gradually slip away. She tells Lucas:
 
“As much as it hurts me, at the end of the day, you are my child and I’m not prepared to lose you.” 
 
43-year-old Wendy is a railway worker finally about to undergo her gender confirmation surgery at the clinic. After counting down the days for thirty years, Wendy is determined to have the female body that she felt should have been hers at birth and to have her male genitals removed. Wendy came out publicly two years ago after her marriage ended. 
 
Wendy explains: “I didn’t let anybody close to me, not even my ex-wife. If you can’t be intimate at all because you hate your own body then that’s a massive strain on the other person. And that’s how I was, you couldn’t touch me at all, or even reach me inside.” 
 
Medical guidelines dictate that you need to live as woman full time for at least a year before having gender reassignment.
 
Wendy says: “My life revolves around this countdown. I get up in the morning, have a wash, brush my teeth and then when I make my cup of coffee, one more day is gone and now I’ve got 156 days to go. Those days go by so slowly. That is all that matters in my life. I have to do it, to get this penis off my body.”
 
Transgender surgery is an extremely complex, irreversible, surgical procedure and costs upwards of twenty thousand pounds. Plastic surgeon Christopher Inglefield is one of the country’s leading transgender specialists:
 
“Transgender surgery is a huge responsibility because it’s our role to give our patients the life that they have chosen…I don’t look it as removing something, I look at it as creating something. But it’s very interesting looking at the male members of staff standing by watching this procedure, they all just subconsciously reach down and protect their groin.”
 
34-year-old Danni is at the beginning of the physical transition from male to female but doesn’t want to start dressing as a woman until she’s had surgery to make her face look more feminine.  There are 18 structural differences between a male and female face and facial feminization surgery is the most requested procedure at the clinic. Before transitioning, Danni was a commando in the army:
 
“I did two tours of Afghanistan and opting for the commando course, I was trying really hard to be masculine. But yeah, I didn’t fit in around blokes.”
 
Danni has been married to wife Sue for two years but five months after their wedding, Danni made the announcement that she wanted to be a woman.
 
Sue says: “I had a few weeks of shock, where I didn’t feel anything and I was completely numb. And then I had anger…When Danni said, ‘Look I have to do this for me even if that means losing you’, I had to weigh things up and to me gender wasn’t important. And I couldn’t possibly have gone because I was too much in love.”
 
But sadly, by the day of Danni’s facial surgery they have separated. 
 
Sue explains: “I hope that everything turns out really well for her but I really couldn’t cope anymore. I sort of feel that Danni who I married was a made up person, so, something that Danni had projected as what she thought a man should be...When Danni came out, it became apparent that it wasn’t the same person, not just a different gender, you know Danni wasn’t Daniel…I still love Daniel I think but the process I need to go through now is to grieve for the person I married, for my husband.”
 
Produced by Renegade Pictures and Storyvault Films for ITV.