Justice

Someone Just Beat Disney to the First Gay Fairy Tale

April 18th 2016

By:
Danielle DeCourcey

Have you ever seen a gay fairy tale character? Two New Zealand authors had not, and so they decided to create their own. Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris, both gay, created "Promised Land," a fairy tale with gay characters Prince Leo and farm boy Jack. The two characters fall in love. #NoPrincess.

Promised Land Kickstarter

ATTN: reached out to the authors about their project and their personal reasons for writing this story. "I wanted to tell the type of story that I never got to see or read myself growing up," Reynolds explained in an email.

For his part, Harris thought it would be a great story to tell.

"For me personally, when the idea of doing a gay fairy tale first came up I thought it was an interesting concept and began thinking about how it could be done," said Harris.

The authors' Kickstarter page describes the love story:

"In 'Promised Land,' a Prince and a Farm boy meet in the forest and their new found friendship soon turns into love. However, when the Queen remarries, her sinister new husband seeks control of the enchanted forest and land that the farm boy’s family are entrusted with protecting."

They were able to raise more than $43,000 New Zealand dollars through their Kickstarter page to bring this project to life. They plan to release the book on October 11, 2016 — which is National Coming Out Day — in physical and e-book formats.

After Harris and Reynolds got into the writing, the book became about so much more than just a unique fairy tale. Harris said that at first he was interested in the storytelling, and then he realized the impact a book like "Promised Land" could have on young people.

"However, I quickly moved on to why it should be done and that provided far more compelling reasons including something Ellen DeGeneres had said in a 2008 episode of her show that I never quite forgot. It was regarding a 15 year old boy who had been murdered by a classmate after asking another boy to be his Valentine."

Harris is referring to an episode of "The Ellen Show" where DeGeneres made a call for action in the wake of the murder of a gay teenager.

Ellen

She asked for Americans to change the negative messages given to children about homosexuality.

"And when the message out there is so horrible, that to be gay you can get killed for it, we need to change the message," said DeGeneres. Harris took that message to heart.

"I remember feeling so helpless watching that story on 'Ellen and so even though it was years later that this project came up, that's why I realized making a book like this was so important. Perhaps we can play a small part in changing that message."

They're getting plenty of support on Twitter for their message:

The authors said that they hope the book will help all children, not just gay ones, be more comfortable with different sexual orientations. "Promised Land" is children's fairy tale where the two major characters just happen to be gay. It's not a discussion or conflict about their sexual orientation, said Reynolds.

"We believe a story like this where the sexuality of the characters is not the focus would help contribute to early acceptance from young people ahead of the time when they may encounter LGBTI classmates or people later on their lives. The book presents an environment where a child and their parents can discuss LGBTI people in an open and accepting way."

Reynolds said that it's important to show different kinds of love to children.

"Love can be between more than a man and a woman, so why can't we have representation in fairy tales with our own 'Happily Ever After' to believe in?" Reynolds wrote to ATTN: "Why aren't there more already?"

ATTN: has reported that more parents are become accepting of gay children. A survey by the Pew Research Center showed that only 46 percent of people in 1994 said that gay people should be accepted by society compared with 63 percent last year. Millennial parents, those most likely to have children in the age range for "Promised Land," were the most accepting of gay people. Only 29 percent of Millennials said they would be upset if their child came out as gay.

RELATED: New Report: How Parents Would React to Gay Children