So. He’s happily accompanied me to various Prides, helped the London lesbian contingent by dishing out fridge magnets in Bristol, hovered nervously around the edges of an EDLcounter-demo – and even joined the massed ranks of women’sorgs on slutwalk, where he even learnt the chant of the day.
Closer to home, our family is a poster for diversity, with recently the entire rainbow – L, G, B and T – represented in just three individuals sat around our dinner table (myself, his mum and his uncle: i leave it to others to guess how that works).
But,with an up and coming charity event in Stamford next month, have i finally found his hard limit – in tutus and wings and magic wands?
Because – forget teddy bear picnics! – Sunday 19 August is when local charity Anna’s Hope is organising an attempt on the world Fairy record (that’s the most fairies in any one location at one time, currently standing at 337 turning up at at Cambridge’s Strawberry Fair in June). To take part, the minimum dress standard (see above) is tutu – or long dress – wand and wings.
I know. That’s all personal street cred out the window. But then, i think its not the first time i mentioned my liking for matters fae.
Piratical faerie festivals?
I was tempted by a Faerie festival which took place over midsummer in Cornwall this year – but put off by two, three factors. The rain. Ah yes, the rain! Faeries do not thrive in downpours. Not unless they are elementals or kagoul-wrapped sprites.
Second was the cost. Cornwall, sadly, is a very long way from here and just getting there would have been prohibitive. Then there was the cost of the festival, which at three days of folk and other entertainment was a lot more costly than i remember such things being (age, that is!). And accommodation: have you seen the privce of yurt hire nowadays!
Too much green stuff required, by which i do NOT mean leaves.
Last, though, and least attractive was the decision by the festival organisers to let pirates in. Sorry, but since when – apart Peter Pan, and we all know how badly THAT ended – have fairies and pirates been linked.
The corruption of the air brush
Fairies come in all shapes, sizes and styles, from the not always cute imagery of Arthur Rackham, through to the coyness of Maxfield Parrish (who i KNOW wasn’t strictly a fairy painter), and the more overtly modern erotic: Howard Johnson (who i think i dislike) and Luis Royo, who is a better artist all round.
Though i can’t help thinking that the collision of airbrush technique with fantasy imagery has not been the happiest of combinations.
And besides, my current favouritest dark fairy illustrator is none of the above, but gothic artist Victoria Frances.
Room for the boys?
Which brings me full circle to a minor beef i might be taking up with the organisers of this event. The, er,gender bias. because since when have fairies been exclusively female – or restricted to cutesy wings and tutus?
Oberon? Puck? Ariel? To mention just a few from Shakespeare. And what’s to stop a girl from putting on faerie boi attire?
Nope. At the end of the day, the attraction of free entry to some of Burghley’s features will probably not be enough to sway him to the pink side. Nor should it. We should certsainly be teaching boys that its ok to dress as the archetypal femme faerie if that’s what they like – but equally, we should be providing masculine alternatives for those who enjoy the fantastic and are more elven inclined.
Meanwhile, feel free to join us in August – and at some point i’ll probably be asking politely for sponsors.