What do we do with a folklore that hates us?

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What do we do with a folklore that hates us?

Eve Brandon

This short story is based on the selkies of Scottish and Irish myth – seals who peel off their skins to reveal beautiful women. Most of the time, as the selkies dance on the sand, an opportunistic mortal man will steal and hide one of the pelts, trapping himself a seal-wife. The selkies spend their lives aching for home and looking to the sea.

In a story that demands penance from the deviant, and assimilation from the different, I wanted to carve out a space in this mythology for women to thrive. If folklore is a cultural map to the past, I want it to show all the people who feared and loved as I still do.

Even modern storytelling often falls short, still haunted by the desire to shun the Other. As a child, the only happy endings I knew were ones that could never be mine. It feels silly, how this still hurts a little, but it makes me want to tell stories where a happy ending can be two girls kissing.

And so what do we do with a folklore that hates us? Maybe we must sew ourselves into its very fabric, and demand a right to be there.

 

  • Garry, J., & El-Shamy, H., Archetypes and motifs in folklore and literature, 'Animal Brides and Grooms', (2005). 
  • https://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/BuryYourGays 
  • https://www.autostraddle.com/all-65-dead-lesbian-and-bisexual-characters-on-tv-and-how-they-died-312315/

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