Last November L, my husband, and myself were filmed for a documentary which goes out on BBC Wales at 10.40 pm on Tuesday 22nd March 2016. The documentary: “Swansea Sparkle: A Transgender Story” tells the stories of three people from the trans community in Wales:
- Paul is a former builder who is also a transvestite who set up Tawe Butterflies to give local trans people a safe environment in which to explore their gender. The documentary begins with Paul’s efforts to raise money and support to hold Swansea Sparkle 2015 in the local Maritime Museum. Later in the documentary Paul allows us to see his transformation into Sadie – a rare thing for a transvestite to do.
- We also see Rhian, a steelworker formerly known as Robert, as she goes into work and also visits her close friend for the first time.
- Thirdly we are introduced to my child, L. Early scenes show them in their bedroom talking about clothes before moving to our farm where my husband makes a passionate speech about his fears for L but ultimately he talks about his unending support for L’s transition.
Transgender people may be “hot property” at the moment (think Caitlin Jenner and other celebs) but these are the stories of ordinary people and their struggles. The documentary also looks at the importance of friends and family for the trans community and touches on the fears and hopes of all of those involved.
The programme culminates with the evening Sparkle event with everyone dressed to the nines. When this airs it will be the first time most people will have seen L fully dressed.