The first reported account of a transgender doll hitting the commercial market was back in 2014. News of this transgender doll hit the mainstream media after an Argentinian mother discovered her child playing with a fairy doll that supposedly had a phallic shape between its legs. While it is still unclear to this day whether it was the intent of the manufacturer to create a transgender doll, that idea seemed to resonate with some parents.
Transgender dolls hit the market once again a mere three years later after a doll was created in the mould of transgender activist and YouTuber, Jazz Jennings.
Jazz transitioned when she was just five years old and the toy debuted at the New York Toy Fair.
But now, in the age of 2018, transgender people and dolls have been much more accepted, appreciated and integrated into society, albeit still with tremendous hurdles to overcome. VT interviewed some parents to get their opinions on the dolls. While some agree with these dolls, others simply disagree.
Alyssa, who is a 26-year-old teacher, said: ‘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’. Do whatever you want. Might as well give them the option.’
Others, such as 58-year-old Gerald, don’t necessarily feel that way.
He said: ‘The dolls are for quite young 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.’
However, Harry, who is a 26-year-old trans person, feels that the fairy doll is not one that he would give to his kids.
‘I’m transgender myself and I would not give the doll with the penis to my child.’ Harry told VT. ‘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.’
He continued: ‘saying that, of course, I want to encourage people to accept transgender people and I am fully one hundred percent behind the Jazz Jennings doll. I’d buy that doll in a heartbeat, and I might.’
While opinions on transgender dolls have created a debate, most people who are against the fairy doll simply don’t want any type of genitalia on their children’s dolls. Emma, who is 32 years old, sums it up best: ‘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?’