Spoiler alert: if you haven’t read “The Wonderful Land of Oz,” I’m about to ruin it for you….
I think “The Wonderful Land of Oz” is the first cross gendered story I ever read..True I had read other tales of girls dressing as boys to escape whatever…but Ozma is the only “truly” transgendered character I can think of….She simply changes from a boy to a girl–turns out she’s been a girl all along. Kind of like the book “Boy Meets Boy” its almost too blase about the acceptance…but hey, I like to think this is how it will be in a perfect world!
PS its the total feminine empowerment story, every power-player is female!
“Eon/Eona” does the girl disguise thing plus a legit transgendered character who is lovely, as does “Song of the Lioness”, Robin McKinley’s Spindle’s End hints at other kinds of love, even though sexuality isn’t really the point. of course Malinda Lo does a great (no-cross-dressing needed) out and out lesbian fairy tale. (PS want a great history of sexuality? Check out “Coming Out Under Fire” an amazing history of gay and lesbian sexuality)
All this makes me think about all those transgendered people are under enchantment, they don’t look like who they are supposed to be….
on the other hand, most fantasy is about that (I’m part fairy, I’m dating a vampire, I have superpowers, I’m really a girl in disguise, I’m a prince/princess turned into a frog)
Being a fantasy nerd, I often feel frustrated with who I present to the world and who I really am
Its difficult on so many levels..
I’m a pastor, fantasy-loving, mother. I am not right-wing, or conservative, but I’m not an atheist either. I had children young and am a professional career woman. I am creative, cheerful, optimistic and yet strong, a leader and am super-responsible.
I’m hard to stereotype.
So I read fantasy, I read it because I know that I am not limited to what other think Christianity is (THANK GOD), but at the same time I think that my Christianity defines my entire being. I read fantasy, put my family first and dress the way I want to because I am Christian. Being Christian isn’t a guideline for me, it is the very fiber of my being and I continue to find more and more ways to live fully into it…..
If I’m in disguise, and I think all of this is a part of being Christian, what parts of Christianity are being unexplored when we are exclusive. What do gay men and lesbian women experience in Christianity that I miss out on? How about single parents, immigrants and the transgendered?
Fantasy is not about escapism, for me its about the facts of life
1. the world is full of a multitude of unique and interesting beings
2. we have to learn to get along
3. there is a battle between hatred/greed/powerseekers and love–good and evil do both exist…..
4. Even when humanity is failing, hope exists, heroes emerge, and love wins
5. Everyone has a call: a unique part to play in this ongoing quest for hope and love, and it doesn’t matter who we are, because the call is perfect for each and every one of us (only fantasy literature seems to do a good job of defining call!)
Living into this is hard, but this is my reality, and for me fantasy is another way to understand real life and the Bible….
Gotta love the irony of that…I’m sure God gave me an appreciation of wry humor so I can straddle all of that..
So some day fully believe I’ll come out of the closet…….and find Narnia