A Canadian nonprofit, Gender Creative Kids Canada, is raising money to create “the world’s first educational transgender toy,” a nesting doll named Sam.
The organization has received funding from the Quebec government for the project. And a Kickstarter for the Sam doll has raised $12,000 of its nearly $106,000 goal, drawing 186 supporters.
An animated YouTube video with a twist ending portrays Sam’s struggles with gender. Born a female twin, Sam is attracted to her brother’s toys and, at one point in the video, draws a mustache on her face. Sam is bullied in school and responds with aggression and sadness before embracing a transgender identity. With supportive parents, Sam successfully transitions to become a boy.
“Spoiler alert!” the Kickstarter page says. “The emotional conclusion reveals that Sam’s twin only ever existed in Sam’s imagination, as a physical embodiment of how Sam saw himself all along.”
Each of the individual nesting dolls represents an emotional stage that many transgender people experience, according to a promotional video for the doll: “happy, exploring, questioning, conflicted, isolated, and finally, supported.”
Each toy comes with a book to guide adults and their children through discussions about gender identity. The 8-inch toy will be manufactured in China with BPA-free PVC.
“Sam is 100% safe for children to play with and 100% safe for adults to talk about openly!” Gender Creative Kids Canada says.
Already, with the support from the Quebec Ministry of Justice, Gender Creative Kids Canada conducts 90-minute training sessions in elementary schools, discussing gender, sexual orientation and transgender issues.
“Every child can learn something from Sam—and adults can, too,” says Gender Creative Kids Canada.
— Jillian Kay Melchior writes for Heat Street and is a fellow for the Steamboat Institute and the Independent Women’s Forum.