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Russian Transgender Dolls Try To Teach Children About ‘Gender Identity’

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Amber Randall Civil Rights Reporter
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A Canadian nonprofit organization is releasing transgender Russian nesting dolls to help children learn about “gender identity.”

Sam, a transgender boy doll, is supposed to teach children about transgender identity and the process of realizing it, reports Mashable. The doll is still in the development process.

The Russian dolls, a group of stacking ones, each represent a different aspect of struggling with gender identity. Included with the dolls is a book for teachers or parents to use to explain gender identity to young children.

“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,” Gender Creative Kids Canada, the nonprofit behind the doll, said. “Sam helps children empathize with the emotional challenges of being born a transgender or gender-diverse person.”

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Each of the dolls is supposed to represent a different aspect of Sam’s journey to reconcile with his gender identity. One doll stands for “conflicted” and shows Sam wrestling between being a boy or a girl.

“Sam is conflicted, constantly torn between internal feelings and external expectations,” a picture of the doll reads.

“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,” the group’s fundraising page states.

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