Channel 4 follows seven transgender men and women as they come together to share their intimate and ongoing experiences of changing gender. These seven bright, funny and articulate individuals give uniquely personal insights into what it's like to change gender in Britain in 2011. Each of the seven is trying to live in a society that routinely misunderstands them, regularly mocks them, and all too frequently assaults them, just because they are different. For five weekends over the summer, this group come to a retreat where they can support each other, understand each other, and guide one another through the next critical stages of their journey to becoming the men and women they have always wanted to be.
Runtime: 50 minutes
My Transsexual Summer - My Transsexual Summer - Netflix
My Transsexual Summer is a British documentary-style reality series about seven transgender people in different stages of transition. For five weekends in the summer of 2011, they stay together in a large holiday home in Bedfordshire, England, where they meet and help each other with some of the struggles that transgender people face. Between these weekend retreats, they go back to their lives and real-world challenges. In the early 2010s, British public-service broadcaster Channel 4 resolved to improve the accuracy and depth of their representation of transgender people. My Transsexual Summer was the first transgender programme they created after making this resolution. Channel 4 broadcast the series in November 2011. It was rebroadcast in the UK on More4 in 2012, and on ABC2 in Australia in 2013. Also in 2013, two of the show's participants themselves started making documentary short films and videos about transgender.
My Transsexual Summer - Background - Netflix
In April 2010, non-profit organisation Trans Media Watch published a study called “How Transgender People Experience the Media”, which found that there is “an endemic problem with negative and inaccurate representations [of transgender people in British media stories], and observed that this leads to considerable real-life suffering”. The following September, the Westminster Media Forum hosted a keynote seminar on the representation of LGBT people in British mass media. Two speakers in particular addressed the subject of transgender representation: Stuart Cosgrove, Director of Creative Diversity at Channel 4; and Tim Davie, chairperson of the BBC Working Group on Portrayal and Inclusion of Lesbian, Gay and Bisexual Audiences. They noted a general absence of transgender people in British broadcasting, and reported that “transgender storylines… are frequently lacking in breadth and substance.” In a later interview, Cosgrove added that there are “high levels of inaccuracy” in British media reports about transgender people. In an effort to improve this situation, Trans Media Watch drafted and published a memorandum of understanding for media companies: signatories of the memorandum agree to “work toward… increasing positive, well-informed representations of transgender people in the media.” In March 2011, Channel 4 became the first company to sign the memorandum. “Our editorial independence always come first; but it is part of our remit to reflect the diversity of the UK”, said Cosgrove. After signing, Channel 4 engaged journalist/activist Paris Lees of Trans Media Watch to be a production consultant for the show; Lees served as consultant for the duration of production.
My Transsexual Summer - References - Netflix