SAM: First Educational Transgender Toy
Gender Creative Kids Canada has attempted to create one of the first trans-related toys in the form of a Russian nesting doll set wherein each inner doll represents a stage or emotion that a trans person may experience in the course of their own personal journey of discovering who they are. The current nesting doll prototype is essentially geared toward female-to-male (FtM), but as the website explains: “Since not all transitions are the same, Sam comes with a disclaimer that he does not represent the full spectrum of what it means to be transgender.”
The organization attempted a Kickstarter campaign, but it reached only CA$33,077 of the anticipated need of their CA$137,500 goal. Although the government of Quebec has provided some funding, it is not enough to support the full spectrum of production needs. Each nesting doll will also receive an eBook that adults can use to help guide conversations about gender diversity and make it a more open and acceptable environment for gender-questioning youth to reach out to adults.
I have reached out to the nonprofit organization to see if they are still able to produce the initial 1,500-projected first-run of Sam, if alternative funding has been secured, or if additional fundraising campaigns will be made available. At the time of this writing, I have not heard back from the organization, but will update the post as information becomes available. In the meantime, you can follow their progress through their website or their Facebook page.