Meet Sam, The First Toy That Explains Transgender Identity To Kids

Meet Sam, The First Toy That Explains Transgender Identity To Kids
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Sam helps kids learn about gender through play

Matt Vitone
  • 30 june 2017

As awareness about non-binary gender identity continues to rise around the world, parents are often left unsure of how to broach the topic with their children. This lead Gender Creative Kids Canada, a Montreal-based nonprofit organization that supports transgender children, parents, and families, to create Sam, a toy which helps children understand transgender or gender diverse people.

Based on traditional Russian Matryoshka dolls, Sam features six different dolls nesting inside each other, each representing a different stage of Sam’s story, from initial exploration of identity, to internal conflict, to social isolation, to eventual acceptance. Inside the smallest doll is a heart, reflecting that no matter what someone looks like on the outside, their heart remains the same. To help illustrate this story a short animated film titled “Sam’s Story” was created, and has already gone viral on Facebook garnering more than a million views in two weeks.

“Most gender-questioning children are born into cultures that don’t accept them. They are often subjected to physical, verbal and sexual harassment leading to feelings of rejection, isolation and confusion,” note the project’s designers on Sam’s Kickstarter page.

Sam is designed with toy-grade, BPA-free PVC, making it safe for even young children to play with. The designers note that play is one of the best ways for children to learn complex concepts and a great way to involve parents in conversations with their kids. To further support these talks, every Sam toy comes with printed Sam booklet with information to help adults talk to children about gender identity.

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The project is currently on Kickstarter and is aiming to raise $105,470 dollars to help support the production and shipment of the doll. If successful in reaching their goal, Sam will start shipping to backers starting June 2018.

Gender Creative Kids Canada

As awareness about non-binary gender identity continues to rise around the world, parents are often left unsure of how to broach the topic with their children. This lead Gender Creative Kids Canada, a Montreal-based nonprofit organization that supports transgender children, parents, and families, to create Sam, a toy which helps children understand transgender or gender diverse people.

+Arts & Culture
+children
+Culture
+Design
+Montreal
+Nonprofit
+toy

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