Head First: May 22

By David Knox on May 21, 2013 / Filed Under Programming 3

6sbrThis week ABC2′s Sabour Bradley delves into the world of transgenders for his documentary series Head First and learns about the challenges of being born “in the wrong body.”

After he began filming teens subjects in the US, Bradley later came across Australian trans teens who were prepared to be interviewed.

What happens when you’re born in the wrong body? Biological sex doesn’t always match up with ‘brain sex’ and when that happens, you either spend your life in torment or you make the decision to transition and become the person you know you are inside.

Sabour sets out to get inside the Trans world but he finds it difficult to get people to talk to him on camera because it’s such a sensitive subject in Australia. So he heads off to the USA to meet a group of Trans teens, including teenage singing sensation and activist, Ryan Cassata.

Back in Australia, Sabour makes headway with a number of Trans people who invite him to follow them on their journeys as they move through different stages of transitioning.

Riley, 15, was born a boy, but is starting to go to school as a girl and pondering hormone treatment at age 16. Her parents are agonising over the decision because hormones will allow her feminine features to develop, but they are irreversible, meaning she’ll go sterile. When Riley decides to pull out of the treatment due to ‘pressure’, it throws her parents into confusion. What she wants more than anything is a group of friends she can call her own, but what she gets is an increase in online bullying. Will she choose to follow her own needs or give in to pressures from the outside world?

Jay, 32, once had a ‘well-groomed biker look’ but is now going through hormone treatment and is about to embark on facial feminisation surgery before she comes out at work as a woman. For her, the process is about finding the outer confidence she needs to match the inner confidence she feels as a woman.

Racy Rapidfire is a roller derby champion who was thrown out of a Tasmanian league for being Transgender but decided to fight back publicly. Two years later – after sex-reassignment surgery, mental breakdowns and suicide attempts – she’s left Tasmania, found new love, and is ready to try out for a new league in Brisbane. It’s about acceptance and belonging for her. But is the community ready to accept her back? The answer will shock.

In an effort to broaden his understanding of the Australian Trans community Sabour heads to a conference in Cairns and talks to Trans guys and girls, sings with Sista Girls, gets an exclusive interview with West Australian senator Louise Pratt and her Trans husband Aram, and is swept off his feet by the outrageously flirtatious, Rosie Jones – a 74 year old doctor from Adelaide who went through sex re-assignment surgery at age 68!

This is a journey like no other for Sabour, completely new, always complicated, and with unprecedented access into the lives of Trans people around Australia.

Wednesday 22 May 9.30pm ABC2.

3 Comments »

  1. phil.carr May 24, 2013 at 12:48 pm -

    I caught up with Head First on it’s debut episode and was impressed with the content, but felt the weakest part of the program was the host. He lacked warmth, empathy and a natural connection with his subjects. I have since watched more of the series but unfortunately have still come to the same conclusion. Just not a likeable nor watchable guy. The heavy handed voice over is to much about him and less about the fascinating people he meets. A good attempt ABC2 but ultimately a miss fire. Maybe with a more likeable host this could reach loftier heights.

  2. sdigitali May 22, 2013 at 10:26 pm -

    Really well made episode and sensitively done, but the host is just so…average. Where did they get this guy?? It doesn’t seem like he connects with anyone.

  3. David Knox May 21, 2013 at 8:52 pm -

    PS: ABC2 also screening The Boy Who Was Born a Girl and My Transsexual Summer on Wed.

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