At the age of 37, Elizabeth Hopkinson discovered she was asexual.
Before that, she had not had the words, but she did have characters she could relate to in traditional tales: characters like Daphne, Sir Galahad and the Brothers Grimm’s girl in a glass coffin.
In 2019, Elizabeth crowdfunded and published Asexual Fairy Tales, a collection of retold and reimagined tales from around the world, with an asexual theme. She then repeated the process in 2020 with Asexual Myths & Tales.
Asexuality as an orientation is misunderstood, under-represented or simply unknown to most people. In fact, around 1% of the population is somewhere on the asexual spectrum (ie people who do not experience sexual attraction).
Before the digital age, asexuality seemed like a taboo subject. But what if we go further back?
The fairy tales, myths and legends told by our ancestors contain motifs that can be read as speaking to asexual themes. Tales of androgynes, neither male nor female; miraculous childbirth and bodily transformation; of glass coffins, marble statues, towers and enchanted sleep.
Hear Elizabeth retell these tales and explain the personal journey behind their retelling.
Audience questions are welcome.
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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: 1080 | Enquiries: 0
Elizabeth Hopkinson is a fantasy fiction writer with a deep interest in history and fairy tale. She is the author of Asexual Fairy Tales and Asexual Myths & Tales - collections of retold and reimagined traditional tales, which lend themselves to an asexual reading (ie read by someone on the asexual spectrum).
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 Leeds LGBT Literature Festival.
She has also appeared at Ilkley Literature Festival Fringe, and has given a number of short courses and talks 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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