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This transgender doll is making huge strides in teaching children about gender roles
Say hello to Sam, ‘world’s first educational transgender toy.’
They may be inanimate outside of certain Pixar films, but toys can leave a lasting impression on the kids that play with them. This makes them a powerful learning tool — a quality that the educational transgender doll, Sam, uses to help children understand what it means to be transgender or gender non-conforming. Currently in development by the nonprofit Gender Creative Kids Canada, the toy is meant to familiarize kids with a subject that even some adults struggle to understand.
Billed by its creators as the “world’s first educational transgender toy,” Sam is a nesting doll. Each layer represents a different stage of gender formation, from a happily unaware infant to a conflicted, questioning child. In the end, Sam is finally able to express himself, supported by his friends and family, but at his core, he’s still the same person he’s always been (which, in the toy’s case, happens to be a heart charm). To raise money to produce the doll, Gender Creative Kids Canada recently launched a Kickstarter campaign, where they explain his mission: educating the world about gender identity.
Meet Sam, the inspiration behind the world's first educational transgender toy. Watch Sam's Story then support our mission to stop transphobia before it starts by pledging on our Kickstarter: http://theyouinsideproject.comPosted by Enfants transgenres Canada/ Gender Creative Kids Canada on Wednesday, June 14, 2017
After Gender Creative Kids Canada posted Sam’s Story on Facebook in mid-June to promote the doll, it received widespread attention. Currently, the film has more than one million views on the social network, and nearly three million people have left reactions on the post. Not all the comments are positive, but the most poignant messages are those left by parents of transgender children.
“As the mother of a transgender child, I am overwhelmed with LOVE for this! It’s beautiful! I shared this with the hope that many people see it,” wrote one Facebook user.
It’s no secret that LGBTQ youth have it tough, and transgender children are particularly at risk for issues like bullying and homelessness. With Sam the educational toy, Gender Creative Kids Canada might be on to something — teaching young children to empathize with their gender non-conforming peers certainly can’t hurt the fight against transphobia. Meanwhile, the doll will provide transgender kids with the representation they deserve. What’s not to love?
This story originally appeared on Bustle and has been republished with permission.