‘Teddy knows in her heart that she is a girl, not a boy. Will her friends understand? Will they call her Tilly instead of Thomas?’ And with those words, Introducing Teddy’s Kickstarter campaign was born – achieving double its target funding for a picture book representing gender diversity, aimed at kids under five.
Well … initially, just one kid.
Author Jess Walton was inspired to write the story because her own dad, Tina, is a transgender woman. When Jess had a child of her own, she was conscious of the need to explain Tina’s experience to her son in simple terms – and although gender diverse characters are slowly finding their way into more mainstream books, she couldn’t find an age-appropriate picture book that reflected the gender diversity of her family. She opted to write her own.
Host Sally Goldner speaks with Jess Walton and Tina Healy (Jess’s dad) about their personal journeys, broad transgender issues and the need for gender diverse books for young readers (and adults).