"Who am I? I am Me!"

by Robin Dorner
Editor in Chief

I recently read a copy of Who am I? I am Me! and wanted to share with our Gayly readers what I found in this book about gender equality, gender stereotyping, acceptance and diversity.

Synopsis: Frankie loves dress-ups, playing soccer, visiting Grandpa, cooking pancakes, and so much more. Frankie loves what Frankie loves! The choice is always Frankie's.

The author begins with a note reminding us that children are not born knowing what it means to be a ‘boy’ or a ‘girl.’

The book was very easy to read, and I can see how it would be interesting and engaging for young children. Within the contents, the writer sets up a very brief scenario followed by a question. Many of the questions are casual gender questions like, “Do you like playing dress-up? What do you like to dress up as?”

Adults reading will, perhaps, see the pattern building in how these fun questions are asked. The questions asked mostly about what the child has experienced in their life, who they were with leading to the child exploring who they are and what their preferences may be. 

These scenarios made me think of my childhood. No one asked what I like to do the most; dress-up or build a project. 

Although I identify as female, I never played dress-up as a child. I liked to ride horses, play with trains and work in the yard. Does that mean early on in my development there were signs of my “masculine” side, leading someone to think about my gender identity? I know I never thought about it, but in the 60s and 70s, those things were not discussed. 

Allowing your child to do the things they love and simply be themselves is one of the greatest gifts you can provide. Through Frankie's active and fun encounters, readers soon learn that in Frankie's world there are no gendered roles - kids are just kids!

Also included in the back of the book are discussion questions for parents, caregivers and educators, and extra tips on how to reduce gender stereotyping.

The author, Jayneen Sanders, said this book has been written to open up a conversation with children about their individual preferences for toys, activities, games, books, etc. and to break down gender norms.

“In the long run, if we eliminate gender stereotyping there will be more choices for all genders, the likelihood of one gender believing they have the power of another will be lessened, and children growing into adults will be free to follow their passions and be truly who they are.

“I hope you and the children in your care enjoy this book and the discussions it will bring.”

Who am I? I am Me! is available at Amazon.

Copyright The Gayly - 1/19/2019 @2:43 p.m. CST.