Gender Creative Kids, based in Montreal, a Canadian non-profit organization has created ‘Sam’, the first educational transgender toy to help children learn about gender identity. Suitable for kids of three and above, this toy needs a kickstart fundraiser of CA$137,500 for the project and hope to hit the first batch of its shipment by Spring 2018.
Earlier an animated short story "Sam's Story”, by the same organization was also created about a transgender boy coming to terms with who he is. It ends with a call for people to visit The You Inside Project.
Sam is a trans-boy and Russian doll-style toy made up of a series of other dolls. Each doll representing each stage of Sam’s journey from a baby girl to a boy. It teaches young minds the dilemmas, identity crisis, the internal conflict of the gender issues through teaching them about the power of empathy, acceptance, and kindness.
Designed in Montréal, it is said to be manufactured in China out of toy-grade, BPA-free PVC. Sam 'Supported' is 8 inches tall. The smallest piece is about 3/4 inch. Every Sam toy package contains a printed Sam booklet with supporting information to help adults talk to children about gender identity.
In today’s world, with the increasing rate of suicide, bullies, harassment, hate crimes owing to transphobia has become a major concern. Transphobia affects the careers, incomes, living standards and mental and physical health leading an individual to a state of self-denial and such identity-based crisis. Yet there are very few tools available allowing parents or teachers to discuss this sensitive, complex subject with the young minds.
Sam, in that context, paves the way to help children empathize with the emotional challenges of being born and living the life as a transgender or gender diverse person. It is high time we educated ourselves and our kids on what it means to grow up as a transgender child and debunk all the myths for upbringing better, more empathetic, kinder and responsible global citizens!