My Dad Thinks I’m a Boy?!
My Dad Thinks I’m a Boy?! is a trans positive children’s book by Sophie Labelle that shows the reader what it’s like to be a trans child with an unaccepting parent.
Stephie is seven years old and clear on who she is and what she likes. Her dad wants her to be Stephen and go fishing with him because that’s what her father likes, even though it makes her sad.
The flipped perspective, where the father is childish and stubborn and unwilling to accept, is a fresh take. Stephie chooses to humor him to avoid his tantrums and make him happy, although it’s obvious though the pictures she’s not enjoying the choices. We see her hurt and can sympathize with it. The family resemblance is clear in the art, and the dad’s scruffy chin reinforces his inability to be as polished and self-assured as Stephie is.
Although there’s no magic ending, it’s insightful to see how she copes with her situation, and it creates empathy and understanding. The ultimate message, “no one except me gets to decide who I am”, is uplifting. At the back, there are suggestions for further reading and discussion questions for more thinking about the parent/child relationship, how to treat transgender people, and gender stereotypes, including gendered toys, clothes, and feelings. This is definitely a book to spur discussion.
The author’s tumblr has more comics on the subject, and the website has sample pages. (The publisher provided a review copy.)