My Celebrity Life

Landmark 1970s trans documentary A Change Of Sex is now streaming on BBC iPlayer

My Celebrity Life –

A Change Of Sex is available to stream on BBC iPlayer (Picture: BBC)

Landmark documentary series A Change Of Sex is now available to stream on BBC iPlayer. Happy Pride month!

The ground-breaking five-part series, directed by David Pearson, followed Julia Grant’s transition, and first broadcast between 1979 and 1999.

It was the first mainstream television documentary in the UK to tell the story of a person transitioning and provided insight into what life was like for trans people in the 1970s, 1980s and 1990s.

A Change Of Sex charted everything from seeking support from gender identity clinics, the violence faced by trans people, legal and medical difficulties in changing your gender, and the wider attitudes of society at the time.

Each of the five parts, broadcast on the BBC between 1979 and 1999, focuses on a key part of Julia’s journey with a unique and intimate look into her life.

My Celebrity Life –

The five-part series followed Julia across 20 years as she transitioned (Picture: BBC)

The series begins following Julia before her transition as a 24-year-old working in catering. Originally watched by 9million viewers, in this part Julia begins her first year living as a woman, required by NHS rules at the time before her doctor would consider supporting surgery.

The early episodes also feature a notorious series of confrontational consultations with a psychiatrist at the Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic. The doctor’s hostile attitude and approach shocked audiences at the time, and won Julia a great deal of sympathy from viewers who wrote thousands of letters in support after the episodes were broadcast.

The viewers also sees Julia meeting her family as a woman for the first time, discussing legal challenges with her MP, finding out about the experiences of other trans people, and consulting for and undergoing surgery.

Pearson, who directed the series, is delighted the BBC has made the film available to stream.

‘Julia was a remarkable person and made a big impression on those who met her or saw the films about her struggles to be the person she wanted to be,’ he said.

‘Funny, dramatic, surprising, and moving are all phrases that have been used by others to describe Julia’s unfolding story. She is seen by many as a pathfinder, and the films have acquired something of a mysterious cult following.

‘Still, so many years later, I’m often asked how the films can be seen; by younger people who have heard others speak about them or by the original viewers who wanted to re-experience or refer to them.

‘Parents with trans children, doctors, psychologists, and those interested in social history have all wanted to view them. Above all, the many viewers who found Julia’s courage and preparedness to take on bureaucracy and prejudice to live as she had identified herself, uplifting and inspirational.

‘I’m delighted that the BBC, who boldly allowed me to follow her story over so many years, is now making all the films available.’

A Change Of Sex is available to stream on BBC iPlayer.

Credit: Original article published here.

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