In Production

Los Angeles-based prodco Film Garden explores the issue of transsexualism, and the surgical procedures that make it possible for individuals to 'correct' their gender identity, in Sexual Reassignment Surgery, a 2 x 1-hour program for Discovery.
May 3, 2001

At some time or another, almost everyone has experienced the uncomfortable feeling of wearing clothes that don’t quite fit. Now, imagine life for someone who feels that way all the time, but about their own body. In Sexual Reassignment Surgery, L.A.-based prodco Film Garden looks at the experiences of several transsexuals as they go under the knife to change their physical appearance and structure.

Over the course of the 2 x 1 hour program, the latest surgical inventions for those seeking sex-change operations and the various issues faced by transsexuals will be given equal time. Writer/producer Mason Funk notes that one hour will focus on the male to female transition, while the other hour will explore the female to male. Patients being interviewed include a cross-dresser who ultimately gains the support of his wife to become a woman, and a woman who works three jobs to pay for the expensive surgical procedure to complete her transformation into a man.

‘We will follow their stories for a four to six month period leading up to their sexual reassignment surgery,’ Funk explains. ‘We’ll see the surgery itself, how they heal from their operations, and then how they move into the next phase of their transition. It’s important to realize that this process takes years, so we’re simply providing a snapshot of the moment when the sexual reassignment surgeries take place. Interwoven with their stories will be issues involving the nature of transsexualism, and the legal, emotional and psychological matters involved in changing from female to male versus male to female.’

Film Garden president Nancy Jacobs Miller adds, ‘We’ve previously covered reconstructive, constructive, cosmetic and cutting edge surgery, and we’re able to handle extremely graphic procedures in a sensitive manner – we’re focusing upon the human drama behind the actual science.’

Sexual Reassignment Surgery is slated to wrap by fall 2001. The project’s budget falls into the US$300,000 per hour range.

About The Author
Barry Walsh is editor and content director for realscreen, and has served as editor of the publication since 2009. With a career in entertainment media that spans two decades, prior to realscreen, he held the associate editor post for now defunct sister publication Boards, which focused on the advertising and commercial production industries. Before Boards, he served as editor of Canadian Music Network, a weekly music industry trade, and as music editor for As content director, he also oversees the development of content for the brand's market-leading events, the Realscreen Summit and Realscreen West, as well as new content initiatives.