This adorable story book aims to help children understand what it means to be transgender
In Sweden, a new book has been launched on trans issues which is aimed at young children.
The book, called “Horse and Master” tells the story of a horse who wants to become a dog, and its owner, a male-bodied person who identifies as a woman.
The publishing house Idus, described the brochure in detail during a presentation:
“It’s a book about horse and its owner, who might actually be a dog and a woman, about a man who may identify himself as a woman and a horse that identifies itself as a dog and would therefore like to do all the doggy stuff like gnawing bones, chasing cats and fetching.”
The book aims to break down the stigma surrounding transgender people by educating children as young as possible about trans issues.
The educational booklet was written by Susanne Pelger, a PhD of genetics and a teacher of biology and mathematics at Lund University, who created the book out of a want for children to be educated, and more importantly, for them to feel free to be whoever they want to be.
Pelger said: “I wish children already understand that they may be who they want.”
According to SVT, Pelger met several students who had undergone gender confirmation surgery, inspiring her to create a book which is open and easy to understand.
Pelger said that while some of her students who had transitioned felt they could be open about it, she said others would keep it a secret.
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As a biology professor, Pelger understood the complexities of gender identity, and explained that it was not limited to a male-female binary:
“It’s not that simple. Gender is not only determined by your XX or XY chromosome, there are other variants. Hormones play a big part, and so does the environment, as well as the personality. It is all very complex.”
She also explained that while progress is being made, topics such as homosexuality remain a “big taboo, it’s like a minefield”.
According to Perlger, the brochure has already been shown to a group of young children, who all appear to have shown enthusiasm towards it with nothing but positive feedback and lively discussion:
“Can the uncle wear a dress and paint his lips? Yes, the kids usually answer,” Pelger said, citing her protagonist Horse, “You are what you are. That’s when you are the best.”
Sweden is regarded as one of the most progressive countries in Europe when it comes to LGBT issues. It was the seventh country in the world to legalize same-sex marriage countrywide in 2009, and the first country in the world to allow transgender people to legally correct their gender.