‘This is what comes to mind when I think of my twenties – being at sea’
‘This is what comes to mind when I think of my twenties – being at...

IMAGE

Florals for… autumn? 21 products that prove that rich, moody blooms have a place in your home all year round
Florals for… autumn? 21 products that prove that rich, moody blooms have a place in...

Megan Burns

The big-busted bra shopping guide
The big-busted bra shopping guide

Edaein OConnell

Thinking about working from home in the future? These pods make a perfect WFH space
Thinking about working from home in the future? These pods make a perfect WFH space

Amanda Kavanagh

This coastal Connemara cottage will make you want to move west
This coastal Connemara cottage will make you want to move west

IMAGE Interiors & Living

Reese Witherspoon on an ‘offensive’ caricature that made her ‘burst into tears’… and then start her own company
Reese Witherspoon on an ‘offensive’ caricature that made her ‘burst into tears’… and then start...

Sarah Finnan

18 of the best scalp saviours for shinier, nourished hair
18 of the best scalp saviours for shinier, nourished hair

Holly O'Neill

DIY Campervan conversion Ireland: Things you should know before you start (from someone who has just done it)
DIY Campervan conversion Ireland: Things you should know before you start (from someone who has...

Lauren Heskin

Inside Adwoa Aboah’s beauty routine
Inside Adwoa Aboah’s beauty routine

Holly O'Neill

5 reasons why Phoebe Buffay is the best character in Friends
5 reasons why Phoebe Buffay is the best character in Friends

Grace McGettigan

Image / Editorial

This Gay Fairytale Children’s Book Should Be Required Reading


by Holly O'Neill
24th Feb 2017
blank

Promised Land?is?a new children’s book by?New Zealand-based authors, Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris. Last year,?their crowdfunding campaign‘received global media attention, and at last, the story is available to buy.

Promised Land is an illustrated fairytale of a kingdom of equality, ruled by a queen who remarries?an evil man. The evil step-king wants to reign the enchanted forest and sacred land that is protected by the family of a young farmer boy. The queen’s son; a young prince, and the farmer’s?boy?are friends and eventually fall in love. The story teaches love and equality and encourages LGBTQ acceptance.

Diversity is not the whole story and the characters feature as part of a wider story that stands on it’s own. This was an?important distinction from other LGBTQ themed children’s books for co-author Chaz Harris, who told Teen Vogue, “I don’t just stand around all day talking about ‘being gay’. My life is a story of which being gay is a part.”

Authors?Adam Reynolds and Chaz Harris spoke to Teen Vogue??on what inspired them to create the project. ?I wanted to create the kind of story I wish I’d had growing up, one where the sexuality of the characters was not the defining focus or a reason for any conflict,? said Reynolds.

Harris spoke about the necessity of visibility and a positive portrayal?of LGBTQ characters in our culture, which is important when you consider the role media culture plays in shaping how we see ourselves as individuals. ?If you don’t see yourself in stories,” said Harris, “you don’t see yourself in the world. I grew up without any stories to show me that ?happily ever after? could even exist if I was gay. That makes coming to terms with your sexuality a very isolating and traumatic experience for many young people. With everything happening in the world right now, we need to change the message of fear and intolerance towards anyone who is different.?

Harris told Teen Vogue that both himself and his co-author were bullied through school and felt unrepresented in the media culture around them as children. “My own peers had already absorbed the message that being gay was such an awful thing and that created a sense of shame about who I was when I was still trying figure that out. I think I spent a long time denying it, to myself and others, or wishing I could change it. That was a really damaging and isolating experience and I think we need to change the message to let all young people know it’s okay if you’re gay (or bi/trans+).”

“It’s also important to note that I was exposed to 99.9% heterosexual media my whole life and I’m still gay – if more LGBT characters are represented in a positive light in these kinds of stories, perhaps in future there will be more love and acceptance from their peers instead of hate or intolerance.”

“If you don’t see yourself in stories, you don’t see yourself in the world, and the world is a much better place with you in it.” – Chaz Harris


You can order Promised Land the book, audiobook and e-book here.

Also Read

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Totally allowed but totally shouldn’t: Welcome to the Great Irish Pandemic Paradox’

In a time when cool heads are needed – it’s more than the current heatwave that’s melting minds, writes Amanda...

By Amanda Cassidy

Mandy Moore pumping
EDITORIAL
Mandy Moore climbed an active volcano at dawn… while pumping

Hiking a mountain and breast pumping – now, that’s what we call multitasking at its finest. Mandy Moore enjoyed an...

By Sarah Finnan

blank
AGENDA, EDITORIAL
When speaking about ageing, we should follow Julianne Moore’s lead

Actress Julianne Moore is tired of all the cliched tropes about female ageing. The way we speak about it; the...

By Jennifer McShane

blank
EDITORIAL
‘Why do we keep snatching normality away from our children?’

This summer the government will allow my children into a bar, but not to their gymnastics camp. Amanda Cassidy on...

By Amanda Cassidy

blank
EDITORIAL
“A slap in the face for all the victims”: Outcry over Bill Cosby’s release from prison

This is why rape victims think twice before coming forward, writes Amanda Cassidy He was once known as “America’s Dad”...

By Amanda Cassidy

toxic
EDITORIAL
How to let go of toxic people, and the signs to recognise

By Niamh Ennis

blank
EDITORIAL
Sarah Harding’s heartbroken mum announces the singer’s death aged just 39

Sarah Harding has died at the age of just 39, her heartbroken mother revealed today. The Girls Aloud star had...

By Amanda Cassidy