Tween ‘Gender Warriors’ Force Disney to Create Male Fairy


Disney's Pixie Hollow is a popular online site for tween girls. You get to make your own fairy. But until recently, fairies were only female. That is, until a new breed of female popped up which looked suspiciously like a boy:

"…children are pretty resourceful little gender warriors. The open secret around the Hollow has long been that if you make your fairy tall, with short hair, and give her an ambiguous name like Jamie, she can pretty quickly establish a reputation as a he. Hey, Mom and Dad, we've got your rigid gender roles right here.

Why would children go to such lengths to make their Hollow a coed institution? For starters, for the same reason there's a Ken doll. My own 10-year-old got hip to the need for a masculine avatar soon after she created her first feminine one – so that 'Coriander' could escort 'Emma' around. But there are other reasons. Real live boys may be reluctant to admit it in the cafeteria, but plenty of them like Pixie Hollow, too."

The gender-bending has moved Disney to introduce its first male fairy, named Slate. Except, they don't call him a "fairy." God forbid. No, he's the much more masculine "Sparrow man."



  1. david in iowa says

    this is 2010!! Just looked at the calendar.
    Many decades ago there was an animated film called “Wizards” full for faires, both male and female.

    And don’t forget the film Ferngully, with Robin Williams. Here again male faires. to mske baby faires yu need a mommy and a daddy fairy

  2. Henry Holland says

    Hahaha, great story. My co-worker’s 4 year old daughter is obsessed with Pixie Hollow, I’ll have to let him know that his daughter is at the front lines of the gender wars. :-)

  3. Vince S. says

    I was at Disney a few months ago and they have an enclave where kids can take their picture with Tinkerbell and Terrence. The Terrance character is played by a male, so I’m not really sure why this is news. They even sell Terrence dolls.

  4. Match Keel Kiwi says

    “They live in nests on the tops of trees; and the mauve ones are boys and the white ones are girls, and the blue ones are just little sillies who are not sure what they are.”

    -Peter and Wendy.

    Duh, there are boy and girl fairies and they have parties and orgies (seriously read the book) and whatnot. and baby fairies are the product of baby laughs, so they don’t need to worry about making babies. Popular media is killing folklore. YAY for male fairy representation!

  5. says

    Sparrow Men? This is just odd. They call male fairies “Fairies” in the films that the pixie hollow site is based. They refer to one character as “Fairy Gary”. Terrence (Fairy Terry), the “lead” male character is not a sparrowman. He’s a fairy. Why the sudden change of heart? Why are they refraining from using the term via online applications yet its fine to use it in the films?

  6. Chris Griffin says

    Male fairies are also called sparrows, and have been called sparrows decades ago. With that said, stop accusing Disney of making up a new name for male fairies.

  7. Jenny Jean says

    Kids can be so sensible if we would only listen!

    My 5yr old son wants to be a fairy for halloween, and is being criticized for it by adults and children alike. It’s such a SHAME that children are already programmed to genderize pink, sparkles, and flowers.

    Next year I’m sure he will conform to hulk, ironman or the like while my heart sinks.

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