In the midst of a national debate over transgender rights, a New York doll company has unveiled a transgender doll, the first of its kind, modeled after advocate Jazz Jennings.
Jennings, 16, has identified as female since she was a toddler. She celebrated the creation of the doll before Tonner Doll Company unveiled a prototype last week at the Toy Fair in New York City.
“I hope that it can place transgender people in a positive light by showing that we are just like all other people,” Jennings wrote in an Instagram post on Feb. 10. “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!”
Less than two weeks later, Jennings spoke out against a new Trump administration policy rescinding Obama-era protections for transgender students.
“I know that growing up, I had it really hard because I wasn’t allowed to use the girls’ restroom. I faced discrimination at such an early age, and I didn’t understand why I was being treated differently,” Jennings said in a video on Wednesday.
“I know times are hard for our community, but if we just stay united, then we will one day achieve the equality that we deserve,” she added.
The Jennings-inspired doll — which arrives as more toy makers are moving to embrace gender inclusivity — will be rolled out in a limited-edition run this spring or summer, the New York Times reported. Different versions are expected to cost between $89.99 and $100.
“I don’t even know if the word ‘transgender’ will be on the package,” Robert Tonner, the company’s owner, told the Times. “She’s a great kid. She’s a very brave, special person. And that’s what we’re trying to get out there.”
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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!💖