With COVID-19 making in-person therapy impossible, the co-directors of the NCGSH have shifted to app development. With the support of their caregiver(s) and therapist, children will be able to use the MyGender Dolls app at home during telehealth sessions. Please share our crowdfund widely and support if you can!
MyGender Dolls began as an idea of the Institute for Sexual and Gender Health psychologist, Rachel Becker-Warner, PsyD. NCGSH Co-Director, Dianne Berg, PhD, and Communications Specialist, Ashley Finch, have been hard at work developing the dolls to be used as a therapeutic tool for transgender and gender diverse children. The concept is similar to classic paper dolls; kids can select bodies, genitals, clothes, and other accessories as a way to visualize their anatomy and genders.
The dolls consist of bodies that vary in age, shape, and skin color, so all kids can see themselves represented. In addition to the bodies, kids will have a choice of genitals and internal reproductive organs to show that their gender identity is valid no matter what parts they have. Clothing options: each clothing item is drawn several times so that any outfit will fit any body. With over 100 different clothing, accessory, and hair options, kids will have a lot of choices for self-expression through their doll.
Although the project is still in its infancy, it has already started gaining attention. Aside from being presented at the 2019 United States Professional Association for Transgender Health (USPATH; the U.S. division of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health) symposium, the dolls also made an appearance in the University of Minnesota’s Discovery Magazine in March 2020. As we move forward, the plan is to create more bodies, clothing, and accessories by hiring more transgender and gender diverse identified artists, and to get this tool into the hands of gender therapists who support kids with their gender exploration.