Jul 17, 2016

Uncle Tom Award #8: Chris Colfer's Land of Stories

You probably remember Chris Colfer as Kurt Hummel, the gay kid on Glee.  He is still acting (in 2015 he played the young Noel Coward), and producing, but arguably his main claim to fame today is the juvenile fantasy series Land of Stories.  The first, Land of Stories: The Wishing Spell, appeared in 2012, and shot to the top of the New York Times bestseller list, probably because of the name recognition.

Other books in the series, Land of Stories: The Enchantress Returns (2013), Land of Stories: A Grimm Warning (2014), and Land of Stories: Beyond the Kingdoms (2015), have also done well.

A gay author who played a gay person on tv and supports innumerable gay charities, from It Gets Better to the Trevor Project to Uprising of Love (for LGBT Russians)?  Obviously he would make gay people an unremarkable part of his fictional world.

Obviously.

Right?

Um...



The premise is well known from such properties as The 10th Kingdom and Once Upon a Time: fairy tales are real, historically accurate depictions of events that occurred in a parallel reality.  Teenage twins Alex and Connor (a boy and a girl) find themselves in Fairy World, and change the course of both fairy and human history.   Let's go through a run-down of the major characters;

Alex dates a boy named Rook, and Connor dates a girl named Bree.  Next!


Their mother, Charlotte, gets a new boyfriend.  Next!

Jack, the grown-up Beanstalk Climber, marries Goldilocks of Three Bears fame.

The Evil Queen of Sleeping Beauty fame had a boyfriend.  Sleeping Beauty herself is married to Prince Charming.

Froggy, aka Charlie Charming, aka the Frog Prince, is dating the grown-up Red Riding Hood.

That leaves a couple of very minor characters who don't mention any specifically heterosexual interests.

There isn't even any room for a Dumbledore to be gay and closeted and come out after the fact.

There aren't even any potential gay subtexts, as every major relationship is carefully organized into a boy-girl pattern.

Let's review:

A gay author who played a gay person on tv and supports innumerable gay charities has written a series of juvenile fantasy novels in which every single character of consequence is firmly and undeniably identified as heterosexual.

Hey, Uncle Tom...um, I mean Chris, I thought you supported gay kids' right to exist?