Before the digital age, asexuality seemed like a taboo - or nonexistent - subject. But what if we go further back? Much further.
The fairy tales, myths and legends told by our ancestors contain glass coffins, marble statues, towers and enchanted sleep. They introduce us to characters like Daphne, the nymph who becomes a tree to escape Apollo’s advances; Sir Galahad, the “pure knight” of the Arthurian legend; the prince from Arabian Nights who is marble from the waist down: or the wife from El Salvador, whose head flies off when she is in bed with her husband.
In 2019, Elizabeth crowdfunded and published Asexual Fairy Tales, a collection of retold and reimagined tales from around the world, with an asexual theme. This has now grown into a trilogy of books, selling in queer bookshops up and down the UK, and a monthly podcast.
Hear Elizabeth retell these tales and explain the personal journey behind their retelling.
Audience questions are welcome.
An asexual person does not experience sexual attraction – they are not drawn to people sexually and do not desire to act upon attraction to others in a sexual way. Unlike celibacy, which is a choice to abstain from sexual activity, asexuality is an intrinsic part of who we are, just like other sexual orientations. Asexuality does not make our lives any worse or better; we just face a different set of needs and challenges than most sexual people do. There is considerable diversity among the asexual community in the needs and experiences often associated with sexuality including relationships, attraction, and arousal. For more information, visit asexuality .org
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*"Fairy tales are a part of every child's life. As we grow up, we learn mythology, history, and legends. Yet, for asexuals, the representation has always been rare to non-existent. What Elizabeth Hopkinson has done is brought aces to the forefront in these pieces of writing. It's an incredible and necessary thing! Everyone wants to see a character that is like themselves in what they read or watch, even when it comes to fairy tales. So what Elizabeth is doing here is greatly appreciated, and we wish her the very best!" — Kelsey Lee, Social Media Director of AVEN (Asexual Visibility & Education Network)
“I really enjoyed the reading! Being an asexual myself I’m really glad you wrote this book!” K, University of Huddersfield LGBTQ+ Society
“Thank you so much, the talk was enlightening and made me think.” L, University of Huddersfield LGBTQ+ Society
“As a person on the Ace spectrum I am deeply in love with these tales. Sure, they may not represent myself but the fact that they represent somebody brings me joy.” C, Bradford*Views: 1807 | Enquiries: 1
Elizabeth Hopkinson is a fantasy fiction writer with a deep interest in history and fairy tale. She is the author of the Asexual Fairy Tales trilogy of books - which sells in queer bookshops up and down the UK - and creator of the Asexual Fairy Tales podcast.
Elizabeth is a member of Out on the Page (a group of emerging LGBTQIA+ writers). She was a guest on Stonewall’s first asexual/aromantic panel in 2020 and has appeared at the LGBT+ Literature Festival.
She has also spoken at Centre for Folklore, Myth & Magic, Ilkley Literature Festival Fringe, and has given a number of short courses at Swanwick Writers’ Summer School.
Elizabeth studied English Language and Literature at the University of Leeds, graduating in 1995. She has had around 100 short stories published, and won a number of prizes, including the James White Award 2005, and a runner-up prize in the Jane Austen Short Story Award, which won her story "The Delaford Ladies' Detective Agency" publication in the acclaimed Dancing with Mr Darcy, edited by Sarah Waters.
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