free the prisoners

A GUIDE FOR YOUNG LADIES ENTERING THE SERVICE OF THE FAIRIES, by Rosamund Hodge


I.

This is the lie they will use to break you: no one else has ever loved this way before.


II.

Choose wisely which court you serve. Light or Dark, Summer or Winter, Seelie or Unseelie: they have many names, but the pith of the choice is this: a poisoned flower or a knife in the dark?

(The difference is less and more than you might think.)

Of course, this is only if you go to them for the granting of a wish: to save your father, sister, lover, dearest friend. If you go to get someone back from them, or—most foolish of all—because you fell in love with one of them, you will have no choice at all. You must go to the ones that chose you.


III.

Be kind to the creature that guards your door. Do not mock its broken, bleeding face.

It will never help you in return. But I assure you, someday you will be glad to know that you were kind to something once.


IV.

Do not be surprised how many other mortal girls are there within the halls. The world is full of wishing and of wanting, and the fairies love to play with human hearts.

You will meet all kinds: the terrified ones, who used all their courage just getting there. The hopeful ones, who think that love or cleverness is enough to get them home. The angry ones, who see only one way out. The cold ones, who are already half-fairy.

I would tell you, Do not try to make friends with any of them, but you will anyway.


V.

Sooner or later (if you serve well, if you do not open the forbidden door and let the monster eat you), they will tell you about the game.

Summer battles Winter, Light battles Dark. This is the law of the world. And on the chessboard of the fairies, White battles Black.

In the glory of this battle, the pieces that are brave and strong may win their heart’s desire.


VI.

You already have forgotten how the mortal sun felt upon your face. You already know the bargain that brought you here was a lie.

If you came to save your sick mother, you fear she is dead already. If you came to free your captive sister, your fear she will be sent to Hell for the next tithe. If you came for love of an elf-knight, you are broken with wanting him, and yet he does not seem to know you.

Say yes.


Keep reading

I cured myself of shyness when it finally occurred to me that people didn’t think about me half as much as I gave them credit for. The truth was, nobody gave a damn…When I stopped being a prisoner to what I worried was others’ opinions of me, I became more confident and free.
—  Lucille Ball 

You are a supervillain named The Keymaster. Instead of creating grand plans to conquer the world, all you do is run around and free other captured supervillains from prison, after the superheroes defeat them.

Submit your questions for a new Issue Time on transgender body positivity! 

You can submit questions here until Wednesday 2/22. Answers will be posted on Refinery29′s tumblr Saturday 2/25. Anyone is welcome to participate, but we especially want to help transgender and nonbinary people of all genders.

And now, meet our panelists…

Rylan Jay Testa, Ph.D., Psychology Professor

Dr. Rylan Jay Testa is an Assistant Professor in the Psychology Department at Rhodes College and the Director of the Health Behavior and Disparities Lab. Dr. Testa is a clinical psychologist and transgender man whose research focuses on understanding and preventing self-destructive health-related behaviors, such as suicide, eating disorders, and substance abuse in marginalized communities.

Daniel Friedman, Founder of Bindle & Keep

Daniel Friedman is founder of Bindle & Keep, a NYC-based custom suit company serving all gender identities. He also costars in the HBO film SUITED which follows the stories of five gender nonconforming people in their journey to wear clothes that accurately reflect the way they feel. 

Justice Roe Williams, Executive Director of BodyImage4Justice & Fitness Coach for JusticeBodies

Justice Roe Williams is a published poet originally from Atlantic City, New Jersey.  He is a founding Director of BodyImage4Justice (BI4J), an holistic wellness and fitness program for the LGBTQ community that primarily focuses on Trans Bodies. Prior to his work at BI4J, Justice organized to free political prisoners for low income communities and young people in the South End, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain and Roxbury areas of Boston.

Aydian Dowling, CEO of Point5cc and Point of Pride

Aydian Dowling is a Transgender Activist and Entrepreneur, owner of Point5cc Clothing and President/Founder of Point of Pride, Non Profit. Aydian has documented his transition since 2009 via his Youtube Channel, ALionsFears, and is most commonly known to be the first Transgender Man on the cover of the worlds biggest mens magazine, Men’s Health.

Precious Davis, Diversity & Inclusion at Columbia College Chicago and LGBTQ Activist

Precious Davis is lauded nationally as an award winning diversity professional, social justice facilitator, and educator.  She currently is the Assistant Director of Diversity Recruitment Initiatives at Columbia College Chicago, her alma mater from which she received a BA in Liberal Arts. Precious currently implements and oversees the Campus Wide Diversity Initiative and is the first woman of color to hold this position.

Davis finds deep meaning in engaging individuals in conversations surrounding bias, bigotry, and prejudice in their communities on the basis and belief that humans can coexist with one another positively through the embracing of each other’s differences and the celebrating of  each others human diversity. With over 15 years of diversity training, leadership development, and social justice education experience Precious is a highly demanded speaker and panelist who has been featured at: The University of Chicago, Northwestern University, The Museum of Contemporary Art Chicago, The University of Michigan, The Chicago Community Trust, Reed College, Hampshire College, and Loyola University Chicago.

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