Growing up my parents did not push my sisters and I towards gendered play in particular, we had a range of play things from dress-ups to toy trucks. We did, however, have an impressive Barbie collection, the envy of the neighbourhood. This was partly due to an aunt with no daughters sending Barbie dolls or accessories every birthday and Christmas. Dad was not thrilled putting together the intricate pieces that required building Christmas morning. I can’t remember if we had the camper van, we definitely had the sports car and we created our own Barbie apartments using shelving and a 1970s bar abandoned in a sleep out on the built in veranda, our ‘Barbie Room.’ Included in this community were several dolls inherited from my mother. This Sindy doll had a twin, Patch, who has since left the family fold.
With this abundance of pink paraphernalia there was one shortfall. A single Ken doll accompanied dozens of Barbies, her little sister skipper, and the Patch twins. My sister gave Patch a haircut. She drew on a moustache. Patch transitioned. I’m not sure where Patch has ended up since, but wherever it is I hope he is bringing joy to small children again.