Sam, the first educational transgender toy
Sam, the first educational transgender toy
Stopping transphobia before it starts by teaching children about gender identity.
Stopping transphobia before it starts by teaching children about gender identity. Read more
Voir le projet en français svp :)
Sam's Story has already touched more than a million hearts around the world!
Please pledge as much as you can, right now! Help us bring Sam to life so that the next generation of trans kids can grow up in a more accepting world.
Our mission is to educate people around the world about gender identity issues. Sam is an essential tool designed to help children understand what it means to grow up as a transgender child.
Awareness of variations in gender identity is increasing in many countries but there are still very few tools available that allow parents or teachers to talk to young children about this sensitive, complex subject. Sam helps children empathize with the emotional challenges of being born a transgender or gender-diverse person.
Anywhere between 2-6% of boys and 5-12% of girls identify or express their gender differently from their sex binary gender assigned at birth (Moller, Schreier, Li, & Romer, 2009).
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.
Studies suggest that gender-questioning children who have the support of their family and friends are far less likely to experience depression and feelings that may lead to self-harm and suicide (Travers et coll. 2012; The Williams Institute and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, 2014).
We knew that for us to have the biggest long-term impact possible we needed to engage the people who will shape the cultural norms of the future: children.
Play-based learning is not only accepted as one of the best ways to teach children but also creates natural opportunities for an adult to start a conversation about what it's like to be assigned a sex at birth that does not correspond to how you feel inside (source).
Sam's Story is brought to life in this beautiful short film by Rodolphe Saint-Gelais and Roméo & Fils. Set to a powerful cover of Roxette's 1988 smash Listen to your Heart, the film tells the story of Sam and her twin brother. As they grow older, Sam struggles with the same emotions that many trans children experience - and the same ones represented by the toy - eventually pulling away from her family, friends and even her twin.
Spoiler alert! 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.
Sam is not only an educational tool but also a symbol of pride, acceptance and understanding.
Sam gives every teacher the opportunity to help stop transphobia before it starts by teaching young people about gender issues and the importance of empathy and kindness.
Transphobia is a global human rights issue. Our mission is to educate the world about gender identity issues because with education comes understanding, empathy and ultimately, acceptance. The more people that can help spread this message the better.
Sam was designed in Montréal by SHED and Roméo + Fils and will be manufactured in China out of toy-grade, BPA-free PVC. Sam is 100% safe for children to play with and 100% safe for adults to talk about openly!
Every Sam toy package features the six different dolls nesting inside each other with one heart charm inside the smallest.
Sam is not a mass-produced toy. We have worked hard to reduce costs wherever possible while maintaining quality.
The price also includes a printed booklet and packaging with everything designed and prototyped pro bono by our passionate, dedicated, amazing partners.
- Sam 'Supported' is 8 inches tall.
- The smallest piece is about 3/4 inch.
- It should be noted that Sam is for ages 3 and up.
Every Sam toy package also features a printed Sam booklet with supporting information to help adults talk to children about gender identity. For smaller pledges (thank you!), supporters will receive an e-book version that they can view online or print at home.
Sam will be ready to ship in Spring 2018 if our fundraising goal is reached. Shipping costs will vary depending on location and all items will be shipped from Montréal, Canada.
Sam is an initiative of Gender Creative Kids Canada, a non-profit transgender support organization based in Montréal, Québec, Canada.
We wish to thank our generous partners for their help, financial support and overall enthusiasm for this project.
This project is supported by the Québec government’s Fight against homophobia financial assistance program. The Québec government is not however associated to the Kickstarter crowdfunding platform.
Risks and challenges
- PRODUCTION -
This is our very first Kickstarter campaign. Even if it is a new experience, we are working with seasoned experts in designing, manufacturing, shipping and delivering products worldwide for demanding clients. You can be assured that your pledges will meet your expectations in terms of quality. We've prepared by carefully researching suppliers and comparing costs. We have the support of Happy Worker Toronto (http://www.happyworker.com), a trusted toymaker. We currently have an approved design and we need more funds to continue the production process.
- FUNDING -
Another challenge is that we have an ambitious funding goal. We are aware of it. The partner we work with requires that we produce a certain minimum of toys for the project to be approved. It's quite complex to design, prototype and put a new physical toy in production. Especially a custom Russian Doll!
- TIMELINE -
We're confident we're working with trusted companies and that the funding goal will allow a smooth production process. We have spoken with our suppliers and they assure us that there will be no problems in fulfilling orders by June 2018.
- (60 days)