1. Aren’t we just talking about ‘tom boys’ and ‘girlie boys’?
No. It’s normal for ALL children to choose many different toys, playing companions and clothing. What is different about children in this book, is that they are determined that the gender they have been assigned does not fit.
Being forced into that role, can cause significant and sometimes serious distress. A child forced to suppress their gender identity, can also be so clouded with anxiety, they are unable to process everything in the classroom, or can cut themselves off socially, because they ‘don’t feel right’. Alternatively, when a child is allowed to socially transition to their true gender, they can come out of their shells, and thrive.
2. Is there a right age to introduce this book to children?
Children can learn about gender identity at any age. This book is designed for children from the ages of 4 and up. Although it is simple, it is still relevant for older children.
3. Will this book make my child question their gender identity?
Children know who they are. This book just helps them understand others who may be a little different.
4. What about gender fluid children?
The Gender Fairy is about two transgender children who are not fluid and make the choice to socially transition. It's up to children to decide where they are on the gender spectrum. As the Gender Fairy says, "No one can tell you. "
All children need to know that they do not need to change their gender identity in order to wear clothing and play with toys that are associated with either ends of the spectrum. They need to feel supported with their creativity and exploration and not be forced to choose. Some children will not always identify as male, or always as female. They may choose a pronoun that fits their gender identity. (for example, ‘they’).
My next book will explain the gender spectrum to young children.
5. Should I wait until I meet a transgender child / have a transgender child in my class, before I read this book to my child / students?
No, not at all. Apart from teaching children about respecting diversity, if children have already read the book before they meet someone who is gender diverse, acceptance and understanding are already in place.
6. Why a fairy?
Often it's the parents who first notice the child’s discomfort in trying to fit the gender role assigned at birth. However, this is not always the case. It could be a doctor, a health professional, teacher, or other trusted adult. Using The Gender Fairy meant there were no assumptions about who that person would be. It also gave the chance to introduce a non-binary character (that is, someone who is not exclusively masculine or feminine).
7. How can I buy this book?
The Gender Fairy is available to purchase on this website. If you live in Australia, The Gender Fairy will soon be coming to selected bookstores near you.
"Its just like me!" - Jack Age 7 "Now all my friends will understand me" - Peter Age 7