Friday 3 January 2020

Transgender BBC Play For Today 1979 "Even Solomon"

Gender Transformation and Acceptance from 1979

Those who follow this blog know I love digging out old and rare footage from film and television featuring transgender characters. Yesterday I discovered this very rare gem from the BBC from the Play For Today series which run from 1970 to 1984. The episode from 1979 is called 'Even Solomon' and is feature length running for 82 minutes. I think it may have only been shown once on television.

The Play For Today series pushed boundaries with their content giving us such delights as 'Scum' and 'Brimstone and Treacle'. So this was groundbreaking stuff in 1979.

You have to allow for the programme being made in 1979, and forgive the rather basic filming techniques. The acting is rather staged, like you're watching a play on the stage. But the trans character is done extremely well.  Some of the information presented is not accurate by todays standards, but as a stand alone piece this really is very good.

The transgender character is called Stephen and is played very convincingly by Paul Henley. Stephen works in a bank and is teased by his by his work mates, lacks confidence, is a virgin and has no interest in sex. He lives with his mother who is a rather dominating figure and mocks him for 'being wet'. But Stephen has a secret - he likes to wear women clothes.

His secret is discovered by his mother who comes home early from an unsuccessful date. She initially falls about laughing at her son but then soon becomes horrified when she realises that this is something serious.

His mother confides with her friend during a midnight phone call. Through her friend she introduces Stephen to a cross dresser. The crossdresser soon realises that Stephen is simply not a regular crossdresser by a transsexual who can only be happy if he changes his gender full time.

Stephen decides to go full time and then returns to his bank job dressed as a female....I will not spoil the end.

The full play can be found on UK Amazon Streaming Services

On a similar note there was a spin off series produced by the BBC called 'Play House', which run from 1973 to 1983 which featured a play about a trans person accepting their gender identity, called 'Mary's Wife'. If any reader knows where I can view this forgotten gem please let me know.

Are you affected by crossdressing? Do you have cross gender feelings that you find difficult to talk about? Why not try Cross Dream Life at