A Transgender Story: RTS Wales takes a look at representation in the media

A Transgender Story: RTS Wales takes a look at representation in the media

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From Sweet Sixteen: A Transgender Story (Credit: BBC)

RTS Wales discussed transgender representation in the media at an early September event following a screening of Sweet Sixteen: A Transgender Story.

The documentary, which was made by Swansea-based indie Telesgop, aired in May on BBC One in Wales and a month later in England.

It continues the story told by 2016 doc Swansea Sparkle: A Transgender Story about the biggest transgender event in Wales. This followed three people from the transgender community – including Llyr Jones – in the lead-up to the event.

Sweet Sixteen: A Transgender Story takes up Llyr’s story and explores how that formative experience at Swansea Sparkle – where Llyr, who still uses her birth name, won the title of Miss Swansea Sparkle 2015 – continues to influence her.

It is an intimate coming-of-age film about a Welsh transgender teenager, Llyr, who comes from a farming family in rural west Wales. The film captures key milestones such as Llyr travelling to London for medical advice, and celebrating her 16th birthday and starting to take testosterone blockers.

Llyr reflected on why she had agreed to take part in the two documentaries: “I’m not doing this hoping to be a trans spokesperson – I’m putting my story out there and hope it makes a difference.”

Other members of the panel at the RTS Wales event included Sweet Sixteen’s director Molly-Anna Woods; Matthew Stevens from Transform Cymru, a Welsh Government-funded project to support young trans people; and Shon Faye, Stonewall Cymru’s trans engagement worker.

BBC Wales diversity lead Catrin Griffiths chaired the event, which was held at the University of South Wales in Cardiff. It was live-streamed on the RTS Wales Facebook page and Twitter feed. Sweet Sixteen: A Transgender Story will be on BBC iPlayer until the end of October.

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