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Dorottya Redai: Lesbian Resistance Through Fairytales. The Story of a Children’s Book Clashing With an Authoritarian Anti-Gender Regime in Hungary

“After its release, the book [A Fairytale for Everyone] became the target of anti-gender attacks,” our Research Affiliate Dorottya Redai writes in her article in the Journal of Lesbian Studies.

The volume, “a collection of 17 fairy tales, featuring LGBTQ + and gender-nonconforming characters and heroes from various disadvantaged racial/ethnic and socio-economic backgrounds was published in 2020 by the Hungarian NGO Labrisz Lesbian Association. The stories address gender relations, disability, discrimination, social justice, poverty, domestic violence, child adoption, gender transition and same-sex love,” she writes.

“It was immediately labelled as “LGBT propaganda” and demonized as a tool for “spreading gender ideology” by the far right, leading to the implementation of legislation to restrict young LGBTQ + people’s rights, in the name of “protecting children”. In turn, these political acts triggered unprecedented national and international support for the book and the Hungarian LGBTQ + community,” she continues, adding that the book “became a symbol of resistance against oppression, stigmatization, discrimination and the increasingly autocratic regime.”

In this activist essay, the author tells the story of this book and reflects on lesbian resistance against anti-gender ideology, coalition-building and cultural production in present-day Hungary. She discusses the “impacts of ideologically based intrusions of state control and the ongoing global media attention on Labrisz, and thinks about what ways of resistance can be imagined and effective against an authoritarian post-fascist regime.”

Read the full article here.

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