Radio news

Becoming Myself: Gender Identity

12th December 2014, BBC Radio 4

A revealing series which goes inside the Charing Cross Gender Identity Clinic in Hammersmith, London - the largest and oldest in the world - to explore the condition of gender dysphoria - a sense of distress caused by a disjunction between biological sex and gender identity.

With growing mainstream discussion prompted by high-profile transgender people like boxing promoter Frank Maloney, WikiLeaks source Chelsea Manning and model Andrej Pejic, gender dysphoria is fast becoming more visible. Indeed there has been a steady rise in the numbers of referrals to Gender Identity Clinics across the country and patient numbers at Charing Cross have doubled in the last five years.

This series follows a group of transgender patients pursuing treatment for gender dysphoria in order to 'become themselves'. In the first programme we meet Freddie, Mitchell and Blade, who were raised female and are seeking treatment as trans men. The second programme centres on trans women Bethany, Emma and Tanya, who are making the opposite journey.

We also hear from the psychiatrists, endocrinologists and surgeons as they meet and assess the patients on a day-to-day basis. Their treatment decisions have the potential to transform the lives of their patients, but these irrevocable changes are not made lightly.

Narrator: Adjoa Andoh

Produced by Melissa FitzGerald
A Blakeway production for BBC Radio 4.