Just when I thought it was safe to settle down and write a think-post centered around dry scientific research, the ever-vigilant deirdreofthegaians dug up a gem from the Peak Trans treasure mine that was far too valuable to pass up.
Update 1: GenderTrender picked up the story early this morning with more explicit detail and background on the purveyors of these latex kiddie phalluses--including the tidbit that the supplier for these devices is a Japanese sex toy company called Tomax. Haz-mat suit recommended. Where are the mainstream journalists on this story? WHERE ARE THEY?
Update 2: I tweeted Ginger Gorman, the reporter on the Aussie news story, asking whether she found anything odd about marketing phalluses to 4-year-olds. Her reply? “Everyone is entitled to their views. You don’t agree, and that’s your prerogative.”
The story, reported by an online Aussie newspaper, is the tale of Ellie and her 11-year-old “son” Jake, who
every day runs to the letterbox to check if the postman has been. For four weeks he’s been waiting for a parcel that seems as if it will never come.
What’s Jake so eagerly awaiting? Why, it’s an overseas delivery from a San Francisco outfit called TranZwear, which bills itself as a “one-stop shop for all things FTM”–specifically “packers” and “stand to pee” (STP) prostheses.TranZwear has evidently discovered there is a niche market for penis-gear targeted at trans boys–a not-surprising business plan, given the recent steady increase in girls who wish to be boys.
Despite its expanded line of business, the welcome page for the TranZWear site makes it very, very clear that no one under the age of 18 should view the site, or allow anyone else under that age to take a peek. Just by visiting TranZWear, you pledge that
You will not allow anyone under the legal age of 18 to have any access to materials contained within.
So Jake is very excited about the package that is on its way from TranZWear, but if Jake and Mum followed the rules, Jake never actually looked at pictures of the two items that will be in the box: a stand-to-pee penile prosthesis and
a soft, washable “packer,” that gets sewn into underwear to create the outward appearance of male genitalia.
“It’s desperately important for him in order to feel comfortable and pass [as a boy] all the time,” Ellie says.
Being slightly over 18 myself, I clicked over to see exactly what TranZwear has on offer. It turns out that parents of trans boys have several pint-sized options to choose from: a “starter kit”:
Readers over 18 ONLY, you can click the above link to get a look at the “kid-sized STP,” (fits conveniently in the palm of your hand), the teen-sized “mini-Gecko,” and the “Masho STP.” I couldn’t screenshot the devices here, of course, because this is a family website, and these images are suitable for viewing only by people over 18 years and are “of an adult nature.”
Ok, so two items in Jake’s package. First, Jake needs an “STP” because
When Jake goes into a stall to urinate in the boys’ toilets at school, Ellie explains that he feels “very self conscious about the fact that he always has to sit down. It was distressing him to point where he wasn’t going to the toilet at school,” she says.
Which particular device will Jake need for standing to pee? TranZwear’s “Kids-sized STP” for ages 5-12 is just the ticket–on sale tonight for only $58.00, and even available in both circumcised and uncircumcised models. (Again, readers over the age of 18 only!!! can click over to see the kid-sized STP.)
But the STP only works for the urinal problem so important to Jake’s mum–um, Jake.
Ellie points to the difficulty of female to male transgender children participating in sports like ballet, gym and swimming without a packer in their underwear. “There’s a serious issue behind all of this. It prevents trans kids from participating in a lot of sport,” she says. This issue does have a lighthearted side, though. Reflecting on her search to find her son appropriate products, Ellie describes her situation as “tragicomic.”
“I’m an adult, married heterosexual woman who doesn’t have a child with a penis,” she says, “I don’t really know what children’s penises look like and yet I’ve had really explicit conversations with strangers about children’s penises.”
Ok, then. “Explicit conversations with strangers” about children’s genitals are just a hum-drum part of parenting a gender nonconforming child in progressive 2015.
TranZwear has just the solution for the sporty trans boy in its “mini-Gecko”–marked down 40% to be a steal at $23.95. Jake–oops, I mean Jake’s mum, who is presumably over 18–can even pick between soft and hard models. Both have the “vein look” along the shaft and a “hardier ball pack.” (Um–don’t ask?) Image available for adults only!! here.
But…what about younger, or more petite trans boys? When it comes time for your little trans boy to join the soccer team or Little League softball, the mini-Gecko might not be the right fit.
TranZwear has thought of that, with a line of packers for kids ages 4 and up, only $25.95 ($20 discount!). The “Newt” Packer (rather aptly named, if you examine the adults only!! picture) will be just right for your 1st-4th grader, while the “Teeny Bopper” should suit your tween sportsman to a “T.”
Lest anyone reading the Aussie news story about Jake and his mum find any of this–oh, I don’t know, a bit uncomfortable to contemplate–we are reassured by the company’s owner, Den Kirkwood-Tucker, that TranZwear has only the most wholesome interests of its trans boy customers in mind:
[TranZwear] works carefully with each family to take into account the child’s “age and where they are in their transition.”
Mr Kirkwood-Tucker specialises in custom orders and has consistently refused “offers to sell my designs and products to the adult industry.”“These products are key for trans kids and adults to help them move forward in their gender transition and are not sex related items.”
Good to know.
Kirkwood-Tucker isn’t the only entrepreneur getting in on the booming business of transition wear for kids. The article goes on to feature a seamstress who specializes in discrete, concealing underwear for trans girls.
Some transgender girls prefer clothing that disguises their genitalia. Seamstress Chris McKelvey, owns an Etsy store called LeoLines. She started making items for transgender girls four years ago when a mother asked if it was possible to modify a bathing suit for her male to female daughter.
Since then Ms McKelvey has made more than 1000 pieces of clothing for transgender children, including underpants and various types of active wear.
I’ll leave you to do your own exploration of these online stores. There’s much more to be found on the TranZwear site, but bear in mind, shoppers: these preschool penises are to be seen by over 18 ONLY.
You are voluntarily continuing to view this site and will be exposed to material that are medically transitional items and of an adult nature. If you are not at least 18, please close this page.