‘Are you a boy or are you a girl?’

Besi Besemar October 19, 2014

Trans* activist Sarah Savage launches Kickstarter campaign to finance the printing and design of her first children’s book.

Sarah Savage

Sarah is a writer, transgender community advocate and a few years ago took part in the Channel 4 documentary series called My Transsexual Summer.

She said: “Are you a Boy or are you a Girl?’ is unlike any kind of children’s book you’ve seen before. With your help, we can talk gender creatively with confidence, and assist parents and teachers the world over.”

“This book will help you and your child explore and understand gender for themselves and others.

What makes this book unique is that the reader decides the gender of the main character. The book includes all forms of gender expression, and allows parents and children to begin to break down the barriers of gender and to talk about what different stereotypes and roles mean to them.

Sarah added:Isn’t it time we stopped putting our children in pink and blue boxes?”

“Are we disadvantaging them by restricting equality to old-fashioned stereotypes of gender? This book is not just for children who may be gender variant, I have written it with everyone in mind in the hope of breaking down these outdated ideas of what it means to be a person living in twenty-first century society.

“I remember being 4 or 5 years old and already knowing that somehow I was different to the other children in my class. I was uncomfortable in my own skin but didn’t have the language skills to vocalise how I felt. It was a really confusing time for me and this could have been avoided if I’d had access to resources that helped me to articulate how I felt.

“Recently, I was at an event with quite a few children. One of them, aged about 5 years, came up to me and asked what my name was and whether I was a boy or a girl. I realised that this was a teaching opportunity, but afterwards I found myself wishing that there were more resources available that would introduce children to the idea that gender is theirs to decide, that it’s something to be explored and enjoyed, and something that is both honest and age appropriate.

“The problem with most of the books currently on sale for children is that they portray gender, something most of us know to be, in fact, quite flexible, as being fixed at birth. And yet at least 1 in 100 people are born gender variant in some way and for some, not being open about their true gender can lead to a lifetime of pain and suffering. Psychologically speaking, children need the space, freedom and encouragement to express themselves fully before they can grow into happy adults.”

Crafted for children roughly from pre-school to 7 years old, ‘Are You a Boy or are you a Girl’ will be a full-colour 32-page illustrated book giving parents, teachers and guardians the springboard to explore gender identity with children and help them to grow up to be more rounded, emotionally mature adults.

Sarah concluded: “I would love for this book to be in every school, nursery and library in the world so I’m working with a wonderful charity called Gendered Intelligence to create an educational resource pack to send to schools, to equip them with the tools they need to better educate children about gender.

“Your support will help to pay for the illustrations, the designer and to get it printed locally, which is important to me.”

“So if you have kids, know anyone who has kids, if you’re a big kid at heart, or if you just think that children should be told a new kind of story where they are accepted and loved for who they are, however they wish to express their gender, and want to help to tell a story that includes everybody, then I really hope that you’ll back my project.”

Kickstarter is a new way to fund creative projects. Project creators set a funding goal and deadline. If people like a project, they can pledge money to make it happen.

Funding on Kickstarter is all-or-nothing — projects must reach their funding goals to receive any money, if they don’t make their goal, the backers get their money refunded.

For more information on Kickstarter, CLICK HERE:

To help Sarah publish her book, CLICK HERE: