It's no secret that the transgender lifestyle is often misunderstood and highly criticized by the general public. In fact, in 1922, Mary Hendly was literally arrested for wearing male clothing due to the fact her behavior was "seeming to confound the course of nature". In 1879, Joseph Lobdell, who was born to his parents as 'Lucy', was also arrested and threw into an insane asylum for choosing to identify as a man. The first gender reassignment surgery was performed in the early 1930's on an individual named Lili Elbe.
Today, the transgender lifestyle is obviously more widely accepted and there is a general consensus that individuals have the right to live life in whatever way they see fit, as whatever gender they choose to identify as. Because of the increasing number of transgender individuals who are more comfortable living their lives as their preferred gender, we see an increase in products made for this community. Toy manufacturers have begun stepping up and creating transgender dolls for transgender children and otherwise. The first doll began production around 2014 and was a female "fairy" with male genitalia. The doll received public notoriety when a mother from Argentina discovered the doll's differences after her child began to play with it. No one knows if this doll's creation was intentional or accidental but major conversation regarding the issue has been sparked among parents all over the world.
She is also a leading activist for the transgender community
After the first transgender doll surfaced, it was another 3 years until we saw another one. This time, the doll was modeled after Jazz Jennings, a transgender teen activist who rose to fame after her show debuted on TLC. When asked why the doll appeared to have neither male or female genitalia, Jazz explained, "Of course it is still just a regular girl doll because that's exactly what I am: a regular girl!"
Here's the question at hand, do parents agree with the idea of giving their child a transgender doll? What do they think about the doll inspired by Jazz herself?
The following responses come from VT when they performed a random survey of individuals in London.
"Would the children understand what the doll was to begin with? Would the child understand? Because I think the child would see it as a doll. Those are my thoughts. Unless it's explained, and then the explanation would have to take quite an adult turn. The dolls are for quite youngish children and I think it would go over their heads, so it would be difficult to explain exactly to a young child. They're not dolls, they're for an older child. I wouldn't give it to my child. They don't even have the life skills to grasp other things. I'm not against transgender people, I just feel that there's an age that you can explain it. It's too early."
- Gerald, 58
"Absolutely, yes! I'm so on board with this! I'm a teacher, so I try to stay as woke as possible for the kids. There's just no point in trying to box people in, like 'oh you have a Barbie doll, oh you have a superhero'. Like what the hell? Do whatever you want. Might as well give them the option."
- Alyssa, 26
"I know it's not PC to say, but I don't really get the transgender thing. So, no. I would not give that to my child. I know I'll get a lot of flack for this, but if you were born as a boy, you're a boy. Act however you want in the body that's been given to you, but I don't get changing your body to be a certain gender."
- Tom, 81
It debuted in 2017
This is the first transgender doll on the market, and guess what?! It's ME!!!😱😍 @tonnerdoll did a great job of creating this beautiful item! It will be available in July, and I hope that it can place transgender people in a positive light by showing that we are just like all other people💗 For those asking: the doll is considered to be the first "transgender" doll because it's based on an individual who is trans. Of course it is still just a regular girl doll because that's exactly what I am: a regular girl!💖
"My youngest son played with dolls, I supposed they were all female dolls. I don't think anything else was available at the time. In principle, I'd have no problem at all, because I think young kids, if they're thinking about their gender, then that can't be a bad thing. You'd have to be a bit brave to choose that for your kid, but in principle, I think it's good because the earlier the kid thinks about their gender, the better."
- Bill, 47
"I'm transgender myself and I would not give the doll with the penis to my child. I think that children don't need to see that stuff yet, they're innocent. The fairy doll looks like it's for a really young child, like what? Three or four? They haven't developed yet, so they don't need to be thinking about that on their toys. Saying that, of course I want to encourage people to accept transgender people and I am fully one hundred per cent behind the Jazz Jennings doll. I'd buy that doll in a heartbeat, and I might."
- Harry, 26
"Nope, I wouldn't give it to my kid. It's a boy no matter what anyone says, born a boy, always gonna be a boy"
- Valerie, 34
It only made sense to model the doll after her
"I think it's a great idea. Who cares whether the doll has genitalia or not? Children are just going to look at it as a doll, they're not going to sexualise it. And if they play with transgender dolls, when they see a transgender person in real life, they're just going to think that's normal, which is was it's all about. We need to push for acceptance, not discrimination."
- Emma, 32
"I would give my child the Jazz Jennings doll, but certainly not the doll with the penis. No other children's toys have intimate parts, why should this one?"
- Antonio, 29
First, a show followed by a book and a doll