A California knitting company is hawking crocheted penis prosthetics called “soft packers” for “trans” children experiencing gender “dysphoria.”
Stitchbug Studio is selling Bitty Bug Soft Packers for trans and non-binary youth, that are so small, they’re sized no bigger than a tube of Chapstick. Though the Bitty Bug is targeted towards children, the product is categorized under “mature content” on the designer’s web page.
Stitchbug describes the soft packer as a “custom prosthetic packer in youth sizes, made from soft durable yarn and polyester filling. It is easy to wear pinned to underclothes or tucked in a packing pouch, and can be felt by the wearer without being visible externally.”
This is all totally normal, there's nothing to see here. Just a bit of knitting for your child's underwear. Nothing weird, perverted, or sexual about it in the slightest. pic.twitter.com/8NCCcn1ojS
— TheGenderMapper (@GenderMapper) May 16, 2021
Bethany Amborn, the Bitty Bug’s transgender creator, said the inspiration came from trying to find a pattern to make a soft packer for themself. After posting a photo of the completed project on an LGBTQ+ website, parents asked for a child-size version for their “little son.”
“After hearing from a mother who was just crying with her son, unsure what to do to ease his pain of dysphoria and there being no options available for children, the very first packers I made were for 10 and 6-year-old little boys,” Amborn said.
The website touts the packer as an alternative to silicone prosthetics, “which do not come in sizes appropriate for smaller bodies and can create an unsightly and age-inappropriate shape. The Bitty Bug® is lightweight, comfortable, low maintenance, and can be tossed in the washing machine.”
Though the Bitty Bug is pictured above on a stuffed animal that is roughly the size of a child in diapers, the company clarified that “This product is not for infants or very young children.” They make a similar product called Lil’ Bug and Lil’ Bug Jr. for older kids and teenagers.
Critics of the Stichbug have skewered the company for selling the product. “The entire purpose of prosthetic penises is if a trans-identified female has some sort of genital anxiety, they can wear it to alleviate that dysphoria,” said one Twitter user. “WHY would a very small, diaper-wearing child have any concerns, anxieties, or even *awareness* of their genitals?????”
“This sort of thing, and particularly talk of surgery, for children before they’ve fully developed a notion of who they are, a sense of perspective, and how to safely navigate life in a complex society is almost certainly going to result in more harm on net,” wrote another.
The liberal company affirmed its commitment to serving the trans and non-binary community by offering to make “gender-affirming” products for “any trans person (or parent of a trans child) who needs one, no questions asked.”
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