Paula here. Who hasn’t been introduced to the Prince and the Princess fairytales? As a lesbian, I really liked Canadian author Robert Munsch who wrote the “Paper Bag Princess.” This was one independent and no-nonsense Princess. Now the LGBTI community is getting its own stories for young kids with titles that are realistic and speaking about “I Have Two Moms” or “I Have Two Dads” or the two penguins dads that raised a young penguin.
When we’re young, we’re introduced to the idea of a ‘classic’ romance: a woman meets a man; they’re from opposite backgrounds (one rich, the other poor, for example) and, despite obstacles, get together.This fairytale may in fact be alienating for LGBTI people who don’t see themselves reflected in that narrative.
Enter Two Young Kiwi Gays.
Chaz Harris and Adam Reynolds of Wellington, New Zealand want to change that. They have co-authored a fairytale called Promised Land in which a farmer and a prince fall in love, both of them young men.
‘We believe that growing up gay with no representation in fairytales causes young LGBT people like us to believe ‘Happily Ever After’ can’t exist if we’re gay. We are hoping to change that,’ Harris tells Gay Star News.
‘”Promised Land” follows a young prince named Leo and a farm boy called Jack who meet by chance in the forest, as they grow up their newfound friendship soon blossoms into love.
‘However, when the Queen remarries her sinister new husband seeks control of the enchanted forest and the land that Jack’s family are responsible for protecting.’The pair have put the idea on Kickstarter, with only a couple days left to donate.
In writing the book, it was crucial for them sexuality was not considered a big issue. ‘The key thing about the story is that the conflict never arises from the sexuality of the main characters, it is merely a story about two young men who fall in love and find themselves on two sides of a turf war.
‘Adam Reynolds my co-writer had a concept in mind for a same-sex love story. We spent four hours brainstorming [and] said at that point that the story needed to stand on its own and not involve a coming out story, someone struggling with their sexuality, or someone forbidding the relationship because of that – what if there was a place where that didn’t even matter? A ‘Promised Land’, so to speak.
‘For me personally, I got severely bullied at school,’ Harris says, ‘and I wonder if a story like this was around back then, if some of those children would have grown up a little more aware and accepting of others.’
Harris says he hopes the book will help confront issues of depression and suicidal thinking, which disproportionally affects young LGBTI people.
They hope the book will available to purchase on October 11 – International Coming Out Day – everywhere in the world, if all goes well with the Kickstarter.