“The Stars Don’t Move”: A Modern-Day Queer Fairytale by Tyler A.

My fairytale, “The Stars Don’t Move,” is a reimagination of Sandro Penna’s poem “The Stars Don’t Move.” 

In my LGBTQ+ literature class, we started learning about Polari. During the mid-20th century, Polari was popular as a “code language” for gay Brits at a time when homosexuality was illegal. It’s impossible to ignore Polari’s influence in gay culture, as it gave gay Brtis a playful way to express their sexuality without facing the consequences of the law. With my fairytale, I attempted to pay homage to Polari through my use of alliteration, a nod to rhyming slang and the whimsicality of the language.

According to George MacDonald, to have a successful fairytale, the reader must, “see the laws of its existence obeyed” (MacDonald). Though each fairytale is unique, the arc of their stories follow a formulaic pattern. Despite my fairytale expanding upon some rules of the traditional fairytale, my story still follows the laws that MacDonald lays out: a protagonist longing for love, finding their true love, being thwarted by an antagonist, and then defeating the antagonist and finding love, happily ever after.

Something else MacDonald incorporates into his fairytales is the inclusion of “borderlands.” Roderick McGillis writes in his essay, “‘A Fairytale is Just a Fairytale’ George MacDonald and the Queering of the Fairy,” that “MacDonald is constantly creating places with borders, borders between fairy land and the land we know as ‘reality’” (McGillis). With my fairytale using space terminology and taking place in various locations in outer space, I made sure to constantly build on that theme. Instead of using locations such as the names of major cities, I replaced those names with locations in space like the Eagle Nebula, and instead of conversion therapy, I call it “the asteriod belt.” These locations help to create the idea that the actions my “stars'' take, such as floating, are justified because they are seemingly placed in an outer worldly setting. 

And this lays the foundation for my fairytale, “The Stars Don’t Move.”


The stars are too far away. Lightyears separate stars to sequestered quadrants of the universe, only observable on other planets. My star is too far away. How can I reach my star with my toes tethered to the tectonic tides that turn Terra. My star resides on the other side of optimism, on the outskirts of oblivion. If only I could love my star — sulfur sparks spreading surly.

I want to kiss my star; I want to embrace my star; I want to know my star. Why won’t my star listen to me? He loves me does he not? He surely would shine brighter than the sun if not for the black hole. The detestable black hole. The all-consuming void with a vendetta on my verve. If the black hole would just turn away, I could embrace my star and be swallowed into blistering warmth. To sinful love.

I met my star in the Eagle Nebula, down the block, a few megaparsecs away, over the summer. His most defining feature is his glow. Rainbows radiate as he rotates round and round, striking me in my core. And I freeze. And he floats away. The stars don’t move in the sky, the summer hour is like any other summer. But the boy walking ahead of you — if you don’t speak up he’ll never be the one… 

The black hole said it was time to go, but I couldn’t leave then, not when my Big Bang beckons me, testing the theory of my sexuality. Suddenly the stars begin to swirl sporadically — swiftly soaring spectacles. The perfect alignment — my star is within reach. But as I shoot for my star the black hole spots me. His gaping mouth expands and sucks the stars away, leaving me captured in his confinement, taking me home.

Next summer I spent every day at the Eagle Nebula. Every night I looked up for my star, his aura asphyxiates me, his presence persuades me. Finally, the heavenly body — I would soon call my beloved — descended into my orbit. “Hello,” his gentle voice tickles my tongue, testing my tenacity, “have we met before?” “I passed by you last summer,” I confess, “I was hoping to run into you again.”

Intergalactic love was born at that moment. Starlight shimmers south to planets below as we come closer. The more time spent the more time forgotten as days turned to weeks turned to months — cycles of life across our solar system kept spinning but the planets which birth the love between humans lack the gravity that me and my love share. Our love had no planet to call home, but it was our own.

The black hole lives outside of our love. A different dimension. One night, my love wanted to see the other stars. “There are so many stars who are just like us,” he said, “we have to go see them.” We were the only two stars of our kind in this sector of space. To reach the other stars, we would have to travel a treacherous trail of torment — we would have to sneak past the black hole.

When the moon mooned the sun, and the eclipse covered us in its special darkness, we took a risk. Together, we burst at light speed across the plain of space — off to an area, awaiting altruistic acceptance. But as we move so does the moon, no longer blocking the sun’s rays. Too late. The black hole never thought its own sweet star would betray. “Discipline,” the black hole screeches as it eviscerates our hope of reaching the garden of eden.

We were banished to “therapy.” The black hole thought it would be best to send us to the asteroid belt. I’ve heard of the terrible terrors the asteroid belt teaches. A cruel place that dismantles poor stars. An asteroid a day attempts to hinder my love but I manage to survive for I know in the future my stars will once again align. No number of silicate slicers should stop my spiral galaxy of love. 

The true horror of the asteroid belt is the number of stars that are dying. My love and I did want to see the stars — but not like this. Soulless stars sulk across the grounds, accused of committing an atrocity, unwanted by the ones who swore to love them. The stars around me flicker. Their light which was once so bright fades. I can’t accept this fate. We will obtain our peace.

My star and I had to become a symbol for the other stars. We were the only pair. So we did what lovers do. We bonded together. A sparkling white line tied the two of us. A constellation was forming. Together, we are strong. This was the symbol my kindred stars needed. The stars, who used to be hollow husks, were connecting with me and my love — boiling bodies binded together. 

Orion’s sword is raised to the top of the cosmos. Glowing globs gather around the asteroids. I am not alone. All of the stars have connected — our constellation is complete! “Heresy!” The asteroid’s claim as they form their beastly barricade — bloating brash bolides brawl love with their fists. The spectrum of stars stands strong — fighting hate with love — the belt buckles and bursts.

The asteroids crumble beneath the weight of our love — shattering sin suffocates surrounding surfaces. Together we rise. As I stand with my community, the black hole can only watch in despair. Perhaps in another universe my dad would have understood. I don't want him in my life anymore, not when my real family is waiting for me. The stars do move, all together, all at once.