Press Centre

Transformation Street

  • Episode: 

    2 of 3

  • Transmission (TX): 

    Thu 18 Jan 2018
  • TX Confirmed: 

  • Time: 

    9.00pm - 10.00pm
  • Week: 

    Week 03 2018 : Sat 13 Jan - Fri 19 Jan
  • Channel: 

The information contained herein is embargoed from press use, commercial and non-commercial reproduction and sharing into the public domain until Tuesday 9 January 2018
Episode 2
“You’re my daughter and at the end of the day, it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks.” Ian, dad to Juno.
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.
Established author Juno, born male, comes into the clinic to discuss facial feminisation surgery.  It is one of the most common procedures that the clinic performs, costs between £6000 and £20,000 and rarely available on the NHS. 
Juno explains: “I’ve been living as Juno now for 18 months/two years but a lot of stress in my life is other people’s reaction to me. When I’m on trains or buses, people sort of clock me and then sort of think, ‘Oh hang on a minute, I think that’s a man’”. 
Plastic surgeon Christopher Inglefield, one of the country’s leading transgender specialists, explains that softening the facial features can result in a more feminine appearance. 
Juno visits her dad Ian in Yorkshire.  Juno says her dad was the hardest person to tell when she came out transgender and she wrote a heartfelt letter to tell him.  However, over the last two years he has become increasingly supportive of her.
Ian explains: “It took me a while to get my head round him saying he was gay. But silly as it sounds, the switch from gay to transgender, I wouldn’t say it didn’t bother me, but I acclimatised quicker, I accepted it quicker, Juno is Juno.”
A lot of transgender people do not have the same family support as Juno does. Leading the team of nurses at the clinic is Mary O’Brien, who has worked there for seven years, but her role goes beyond just being clinical: “Patients often come to the clinic on their own and this is sometimes because they’ve just told family and friends and it’s a shock for everyone and they do sometimes find themselves very alone unfortunately. So for me to be their friend or their support or whatever, it’s lovely, it’s what I love doing”. 
Fifty-year-old Stephanie is also having facial feminisation surgery at the Weymouth Street Hospital with Mr Inglefield, who will be reducing her nose, narrowing her chin and creating a more heart shaped, feminine face.  
Until 18 months ago, Stephy was a firefighter called Mark, but she has known she was female since childhood. Stephy says: “To all intents and purposes it was the perfect life, the house, the family, the wife, the lovely children, the good job, the security, it’s what people dream of, but to me I was living the wrong life.”
She told her wife shortly after they were married and the couple agreed that Stephy was allowed to come out in private. They remained married for twenty-two years, had two sons and the family lived together on the Welsh coast. However, following a nervous breakdown, Stephy soon realised she needed to live full-time as herself. Sadly, this decision led to her losing her wife, her home and contact with their two sons. 
Stephy says: “I think you have to understand I didn’t choose this. If there was a choice involved I’d be back home, but sometimes you don’t get a choice in life”. 
The number of transgender patients visiting the clinic is rising every year and 80 per cent of them are male to female.  Fifty-two year old shop assistant Emma has been living as a woman for seven years and is here to discuss breast augmentation. And in a few years she is hoping to have genital surgery.
For Emma, being in the wrong body has stopped her living her life. She has never had children, has never been engaged, married or had sex. Emma says: “I wouldn’t feel right having a sexual relationship with a man with my current body that I have.”
Twenty-one year old Lucas recently had chest surgery at the clinic to remove his breasts, resulting in him being much happier with his body.  His mum, Karen, has found it difficult to lose her daughter and gain a son but has been incredibly supportive throughout his entire journey.   As the results of his surgery are revealed, Karen says: “If you’d have asked me months ago, I’d have said, ‘This is my daughter, you can’t do this’ but it suits him.”
The clinic performs around 12 male-to-female gender reassignment surgeries every year.  However, one surgery not offered is female-tomale genital surgery.  It is a complex and multiple stage procedure which requires a much bigger team, so Mr Inglefield refers to recognised centres within the NHS. 
The final stage for Lucas is genital surgery.  At an appointment in Hammersmith with the NHS, Lucas and Karen receive all the information on the two procedure options for Lucas.  This surgery could take years to happen and in the interim, he must live as a man with female genitals.  In the meantime he can use a prosthetic penis to help him feel more masculine.