A Trans Fairy Tale

I Never Thought I'd Write A Fairy Tale, But My Life—and Yours—Is One

All my life, I've envisioned myself as a novelist. Much to my surprise, then, that my most popular title is non-fiction. I'm up to write in most genres, but I previously vowed I would never write a children's book.


Famous last vows, 'cuz I just published a children's book (The King Whose Armor Didn't Fit).

Myths are for the gods. Fairy tales are for us.

In my TransQuality: How Trans Experience Affirms the World, I include a TL:DR fairy tale that allegorizes my life (related in more detailed, real-life fashion in my memoir, How to NOT Know You're Trans). Fairy tales put into big-picture perspective the seemingly dull details of our lives. In this tapestry, we can then see the magic of who we are.


Myths are for the gods. Fairy tales are for us. And I can't think of a better fairy tale than the tipping point of Trans realization and transformation—for both individuals and our society as a whole.

I can't think of a better fairy tale than the tipping point of Trans realization and transformation—for both individuals and our society as a whole.

One of my friends, the amazing Regina Weldert, wanted to read that fairy tale chapter for a video reading on her YouTube channel. Well, when I got to cutting the text for a shorter read, illustrations popped into my head, and one thing lead to another lead to … yup, a children's book, the text of which goes,


Once upon a time a young prince wore armor that didn’t fit.


Though he itched inside his armor, the people never Knew his pain. To make believe his armor fit, he buried the itching by obeying the priests and the kingdom’s teachings. The prince supposed everyone itched under their coverings, from the king to the miller, because when the priests weren’t looking, the people ran naked in the meadows.

The prince supposed everyone itched under their coverings, from the king to the miller, because when the priests weren’t looking, the people ran naked in the meadows.

In time, he became king and married a queen. Now, though he longed to, he could never run naked in the meadows. One day, alone in the palace, he took off his armor and saw his entire body was a callus. This would not do. He kept being king before the people and the queen but, in secret, he took long baths and rubbed lotion into his calluses. When the queen caught him, he promised to never again hide it from her. The itching of his armor grew worse, but he hid the pain.

One night, he dreamt of a world with no armor and felt happy to be who he really was.

One night, he dreamt of a world with no armor and felt happy to be who he really was. Then his dream went sad because his kingdom would never allow that.


So, he smoothed his calluses, out of sight of the queen, the priests, and the people. One day, he itched so badly, he walked the palace with no armor on. The queen was shocked.


“Are you crazy?” she asked. “You’ll destroy the kingdom if anyone sees you like this!”

he saw on the edge of the kingdom a people who never fit. Though the priests called them freaks, these people loved themselves, naked or in armor.

The king locked himself in the tower so not even the queen could see him. From his window, he saw on the edge of the kingdom a people who never fit. Though the priests called them freaks, these people loved themselves, naked or in armor.

He left the tower to live with them and hear their story. As he walked home after his stay with the freaks, he was greeted by the people on his way back to the castle.

Though the priests called them freaks, these people loved themselves, naked or in armor.

“Hello, good one!” said the miller.


“Hello, friend!” said a tradesperson.


“Be gone, freak!” spat a priest.


When he arrived home, the queen asked. “Who are you, stranger? What have you done with my king?”


The king turned from the royal mirror with a smile on his face.


“I am your queen, my love. I finally get to be me.”


In the royal mirror, the queen saw another queen who looked so happy.


And the queen smiled, too.

the armor had never been the bad fit. It had been she who had not fit as king

The now smiling king (who had always been a queen, really) saw that the armor had never been the bad fit. It had been she who had not fit as king. All along, there had been two queens, who now fell more in love than they had ever been before.


Queen and queen now walk the kingdom together, to see what adventure comes next. And they lived happily ever after.


I wonder what happens to us as adults that we lose the simple grasp of the fairy-tale existence we all live? May trans folk impart to you and the world a fairy-tale realization of the magic of your own life.


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