Awareness of transgender rights has increased significantly in recent years, but so has transphobia. And transphobia is incredibly harmful, with research reporting that 41% of trans people have attempted suicide. Nobody is born transphobic, however; so when Gender Creative Kids Canada challenged us to make the world a more accepting place for trans youth, we knew where to start: with a toy.
Sam is the world’s first educational transgender toy, designed to illustrate the emotions felt by many children questioning their gender identity, encouraging understanding and empathy through play.
“It took 2 years to bring Sam to life. Now it’s Sam’s turn to start changing lives.”
Five hundred toys have been produced for Canadian schools so far, helping educators teach children what it means to grow up trans. Sam illustrates the emotions felt by many children questioning their gender identity, encouraging understanding and empathy through play.
We created a toy that children would want to play with and easily understand. But to truly engage with Sam emotionally, we needed to make Sam feel more real. Sam’s Story was not only created to launch The You Inside Project, it was designed to complement the toy and build empathy for Sam as a character. The film will be shown in schools as part of the project and helps explain each of the emotional steps that the toy embodies. Sam’s Story is based on real case studies of transgender youth experience.
The film was created in partnership with Rodolphe Saint-Gelais from the National Film Board of Canada and funded by a government grant. The song in Sam’s Story is a rerecording of Roxette’s iconic track Listen to Your Heart. The band were so touched by the project, they donated the rights to the song.
Gender Creative Kids Canada's 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 be born transgender.