image taken from @petejordiwood instagram
Looking back at the past, it seems, at first glance, there are no queer fairy tales. Now, one writer and illustrator has found a queer story that has survived through the test of heteronormative academia to be told once again in modern times.
Cornish writer and illustrator Pete Jordi Wood, through searching through over 600 fairy tales in the archives, discovered The Dog and the Sea, a tale about one man who becomes a sailor, goes through a quest, wins over a man’s hand in marriage, and goes up against a beautiful witch.
“Ultimately it’s an ancient tale with a positive portrayal, of a guy who can be read as gay or asexual, but certainly queer, who is the only person who can defeat the evil because he can resist her beauty.”
Although Wood doesn’t know the exact date of when the fairy tale was originally told he theorizes the fairy tale dated back beyond the 1800’s when it was first written down in words.
So why has this fabulous fairy tale fallen out of the sights of readers for centuries?
Well, a certain real-life fairy-tale villain came along who goes by the name of Stith Thompson. Thompson was responsible for creating The Motif-Index of Folk-Literature—a six volume catalogue of motifs, granular elements of folklore.
According to Wood, “in the accompanying Motif Index of Folklore he compiled in the 1920s, and revised in the 1950s, he lists ‘Homosexuality’ and ‘Lesbianism’ in a section called ‘unnatural perversions’ with bestiality and incest.
“Open about his views he admits he omitted many stories in the catalogue because they were ‘perverse’ or ‘unnatural.’
“One dude. One guy got to choose what stories did or didn’t make the cut in what is not the core resources and system for documenting folklore in an order still used today.
“Unfortunately, Stith Thompson was all too happy to put LGBTQ folk tales into his catalogues if the queers got based up, imprisoned, sent to hell or murdered. Or worse, that they were predatory and evil.”
But luckily the world has moved to a more progressive mind. No longer must we use such a homophobic and archaic system to define our literature.
So, Wood went to work and beautifully brought to life the fairy tale of The Dog and the Sailor through an illustrated book.
Now, when’s the Disney animated movie coming out?