Jill Layton
June 09, 2015 6:00 am

There’s a new hero in fairy tale land who embodies so many of the qualities we like to see in our fairy tale heroes. Cedric the pumpkin farmer is smart, courageous, kind, strong, and has big aspirations of leaving his humble beginnings to conquer his dream of becoming a knight. Cedric also just so happens to be gay.

The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived is one of the first (if not THE first) fairy tales to feature a gay hero, and it was written by an equally brave author, Daniel Errico. Errico has written more than 100 eBooks for kids, including Barnes & Noble best-sellers The Journey of the Noble Gnarble and The Journey of the Marmabill. Even though Errico happens to be straight, he decided to use his voice to create a gay hero — an important conversation he feels has been missing from children’s literature. Now his work is animated, and available on Hulu.

“I’m close friends with a gay couple, and when it comes to children’s literature, it was clear to me that they were being left out of the conversation,” Errico told the Advocate. “There are some great children’s books about non-traditional families and gender non-conformity, but the biggest omission is gay heroes who kids can look up to and relate to.”

Although the decision to write The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived wasn’t a difficult one for Errico, not everyone thought it was a good idea. “People who were close to me were concerned it might end my career,” he said. “They didn’t understand why I, as a straight man, would want to do it. But for me it’s a human rights issue. I can choose to be a part of this or not, which makes me even more determined to do it.”

So far, the book hasn’t ended Errico’s career, and we’re pretty sure it’s not going to. We are so happy a story like this exists to help parents, non traditional or traditional, explain diversity and inclusivity to their children. Errico added, “I got amazing feedback from people who said they wish they’d had a book like this when they were growing up.”

While many people reacted to the story like we did — totally on board and enamored with Cedric — not everyone’s reaction was positive, which isn’t entirely surprising.

“There were conservative sites that said I was trying to brainwash kids and promote a gay agenda,” he said. “It was the first time in my career that people said, ‘I wouldn’t show this to my kids,’ even people who I considered liberal and gay allies. It changes for them when kids are involved. At the heart of it, some people are not fully convinced that their children’s sexuality cannot be influenced.”

The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived was originally published as an eBook, but Errico self-funded an animated eight-minute version of the story, which illustrator Ida M. Schouw Andreasen brought to life as a cartoon. Hulu premiered The Bravest Knight Who Ever Lived on May 28, launching the site’s June Pride month initiative.

Hulu’s senior content acquisition manager Andrew Thomas told Out, “We would be delighted to explore the potential of acquiring more content that features positive, family friendly, LGBT messages.”

He noted that the programming might not be welcomed by everyone — and that’s OK.

“We definitely recognized that The Bravest Knight is not for all audiences,” Thomas told the Advocate. “We wanted to be respectful and mindful of parents who are not ready to have a conversation with their kids about LGBT issues. But we hadn’t come across kids’ content that spoke to LGBT issues before. We’re in the business of telling great stories to kids, and this is such an adorable, sweet story. I feel very privileged that our whole team and our management is behind it.”

We absolutely love the story and hope to see many more like it! You can watch full the video here.

[Featured images via, viavia]

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