Loving Beasts Then Beauties: Transbiological Bisexual Heroines in Retold Fairy Tales

Jeana Sommer Jorgensen (Butler University)

Two recent retold fairy tales – Malinda Lo’s Ash and Melissa Bashardoust’s Girl, Serpent, Thorn – feature women who cycle through partners of different genders and magical species. The bisexual heroines in these recent fairy-tale retellings are transgressive on multiple fronts: they escape compulsory heterosexuality by not ending up in a happily-ever-after with a male partner, they defy compulsory monogamy by having more than one partner over the course of the narrative, and they cross “natural” species lines by partnering with a non-human character at least once in the story, thereby upsetting Western binaries and norms.

Part of 34-07 The Construction of Gender and Sexuality in Folklore, Wednesday, October 20, 2:15 pm–3:45 pm