Gay men and fairy tales: a local church explores the connection

A New Westminster church is hosting 'Fairytales and the Gay Man's Journey' — a five-week series exploring fairy tales and how they relate to the experiences of gay men.

'Fairytales and the Gay Man's Journey' will explore a different fairy tale each week

Reverend Dale Yardy says gay men may find a reflection of their own experiences in Cinderella. (Lucas Jackson/Reuters)

A New Westminster priest is launching a series of discussions looking at how fairy tales speak to gay men's experiences, as part of that city's pride celebrations.

"Before fairy tales came to be in children's storybooks, they were the adult wisdom/entertainment stories of centuries ago," Reverend Dale Yardy, told Rick Cluff on The Early Edition.

The church has not always been kind to [LGBTQ people]…this fairy tale event is an opportunity to seek reconciliation'- Reverend Dale Yardy

"It was within story that people recognized themselves and perhaps found the tools within the text to move forward."

Thursday night's event at Holy Trinity Anglican Cathedral is the first in a five-week series called ‘Fairytales and the Gay Man’s Journey’.

From Cinderella to The Ugly Duckling

It all kicks off with a discussion of the famous Brothers Grimm story Cinderella. Each week will focus on a different fairy tale.

Rev. Dale Yardy will lead the discussion "Fairytales and the Gay Man’s Journey." (Charlie Cho/CBC)

Rev. Yardy said an example of how gay men may find a reflection of their experiences is in a fairy tale like The Ugly Duckling by Hans Christian Anderson. 

He said the ugly duckling in the story is yearning to find his tribe, but doesn’t fit in because he doesn’t look like the other ducks – and similarly gay men may feel they don’t look like other men.

An attempt at reconciliation

Although the focus of the series is on the experiences of gay men, the event is open to people from all backgrounds.

"Fairy tales remind us that on the journey we go through highs and lows. And the story of God is a story of the people of God going through highs and lows, and the story of God meeting our story is a beautiful thing," he said.

“We don’t know if this program will take off…it’s really us putting our toe in the water,” he said.

Rev. Yardy, who began working at Holy Trinity nine months ago, said this event is a first for his parish, and a first for himself.

He hopes this event will create a safe space for the LGBTQ community to come together with the church and share their stories.

“The church has not always been kind to [LGBTQ people]…this fairy tale event is an opportunity to seek reconciliation.”