Life

Brilliant new project will give some transgender people a free personalized Christmas ornament

Personalized ornaments from the Rainbow Sheep Ornament Project
Personalized ornaments from the Rainbow Sheep Ornament ProjectPhoto: Provided

The Rainbow Sheep Ornament Project launched this week with the goal of making the holidays a little brighter for transgender people who have recently changed their name.

The project will send them a free personalized Christmas tree ornament to help them start rebuilding sentimental mementos that don’t use their dead name.

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“If you’re sentimental about the holidays, you likely have years of personalized ornaments that you’ve collected over time, some dating back to childhood,” the group explains. “But something that brings one person good memories could be painful to someone else. Many transgender people who change their name choose to disassociate from the name they were given at birth, often as a necessary way to help heal from trauma.”

Transgender people who qualify are asked to fill out a simple form online to get the ornament. No personal information is shared.

The group is accepting donations and selling other personalized merchandise to help fund the giveaway. Any money raised that exceeds the costs of the project will be donated to the Trans Lifeline charity. A $20 donation will fund production and shipping costs for one ornament.

In a FAQ, they acknowledge that someone who doesn’t qualify could scam the honor code and request a free ornament for themselves, but they’re willing to take the chance that someone would lie.

“Transgender people are constantly being asked to prove their identity – at the airport, at hotels, at the store, when filling out forms, on job applications, and on and on,” they note. “You don’t have to prove your identity to us – you are you! If providing a safe experience means a few dishonest people get free ornaments, we’re ok with that.”

Sarah Kogod, a former journalist turned diversity consultant, announced the launch on Twitter where it’s been met with excitement.

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