A brand new animated Cinderella story featuring a transgender main character is teaching children about diversity.
‘Jamie – A Transgender Fairytale’ is the latest video from Olly Pike, a UK-based performer whose YouTube channel Pop’n’Olly teaches children about LGBTI characters, with the help of animated videos and a talking balloon named Pop.
The story tells the tale of Jamie, who, like Cinderella, is bullied by her older siblings to carry out tasks around the house.
Her evil brothers have a fairy godmother to grant their every wish, but Jamie does not – and as a result, she is unable to have her only wish granted – to feel comfortable in her own skin.
‘She wished that she could feel right, because she didn’t,’ the video explains. ‘She didn’t feel right at all. Not in her body, that is.’
‘You see, how Jamie felt inside didn’t match up with what she saw in the mirror, and oh how she wished it could.’
The video also teaches an important lesson about how best to respond when someone close to you comes out as trans.
As Jamie exclaims ‘I’m a boy! I always have been!’, his friends explain that they completely understand and give him a huge hug.
Actor and YouTube star Lewis Hancox, who plays one of the evil brothers, spoke to Gay Star News about the impact he hoped the video would have.
‘When I was a kid I didn’t know what being transgender was, all I knew was how I felt,’ he said. ‘It was something that just wasn’t talked about.’
‘Having a character like Jamie, who is cool and positive, someone kids can look up to, will make the world of difference!
‘Kids who feel different won’t feel like they are the only ones, and the others will understand that being trans isn’t scary or weird – it’s just one small aspect of you.’
Lewis explained more needed to be done to help transgender children through the help of uplifting stories.
‘There are too many sad stories out there,’ he said. ‘We need to give people hope! And what better way to tackle prejudice than reach the younger generation.’
‘I think that we need to teach kids about gender identity from a young age in schools.
‘It isn’t anything perverse and shouldn’t be a taboo, and it’s not about sexuality. Gender is something that is placed upon us from birth, and we can feel if our gender is wrong from an early age.
He added: ‘It just gives them that confidence to know that if they do feel trans, they shouldn’t be ashamed. And it teaches the non-trans children to be accepting.’
Speaking to Inclusive Networks, Olly explained why he felt it important to cover the subject of being transgender.
‘How can we teach inclusiveness without the resources to do so?’ he said. ‘It felt hugely important to cover this subject, it felt like the next natural step following our same sex romance fairy tale, Prince Henry, and our Pride based story, Little Red Riding Dude. We are a channel that teaches LGBT+ education, so how could we not?’
Watch the video below: