A fairy tale with a difference is set to transform how young transgender children view themselves.
‘A Royal Heart’ explores the messages of love, family and acceptance through the eyes of a young prince, Lyric, who feels like a princess on the inside.
After realising she doesn’t feel able to be a King, the teenage prince transforms into a princess on her 16th birthday, with the help of her loving grandmother.
‘Now Lyric stood as a beautiful girl dressed in a royal gown,’ the story explains.
‘Lyric finally felt free. Tears trickled down her cheeks. “This is who I am. This is who I’ve always been. In my heart I knew I was not meant to be King. But maybe I can still be a leader.”‘
Author Gregory McGoon told Gay Star News he wanted to create a story that inspired children to ask questions.
‘LGBTI characters certainly are lacking in children’s books,’ he said.
‘I grew up with fairy tales and Disney magic, and decided to tackle my own fairy tale – stories that would inspire me and reflect my outlook.
‘And I thought to myself, what if a prince did not want to be a prince, but still wanted to be a part of the family leadership? And that is when I found the essence of this story, leadership and love.’
He added: ‘I wanted to introduce that to children in a way that will allow them to ask questions and start a dialogue about what that means and how it is true for some and the beauty in that.’
McGoon’s next project is a longer, non-illustrated fairy tale, with LGBTI main characters and a gay prince.
Despite featuring a prince who transforms into a princess, McGoon is keen to convey the fact that this story is not a ‘transgender fairy tale’ – rather, it is a story in which the main character happens to be transgender.
‘The heart of the story goes beyond transformation,’ he said. ‘The idea of a person truly embracing who they are, and finding the comfort and confidence within that is crucial in this story.
‘Chlldren, whether they identify with this story, or encounter this subject can start to building the foundation to appreciate life’s diversity.’
‘This story gives children the ability to play a princess or prince, king or queen, no matter their gender because now they have a character on paper recognizes that.’
So far, McGoon says the the response to the story has been positive – from both adults and children.
‘The reaction has been remarkable,’ he said.
‘Parents and teachers thanking me for addressing a subject in such a beautifully gentle way to express love. And with children, particularly boys, saying “that’s cool,” during the transformation sequence.’
‘Everyone deserves a their own “Once upon a time,”‘ he added.
‘Here’s to expanding that voice and where that journey will lead.’