I don’t spend much time in Pixie Hollow, the Disney children’s gaming website for fairy fans, but I have a pretty good idea of what goes on there: Little girls create their own fairy avatars and guide them through Tinkerbell’s mystical world of pixie dust. But since its launch in 2008, only lady fairies could be created on the site. That’s changing. And his name is Slate
To be fair, female fairies were given lots of customization options: Tall and short, fashionable or frumpy, blonde or brunette, Asian or black. But there was no messing with the invisble gender bits. Until now! (Cue: Big reveal music.) Notes Salon:
[I]t was a pleasant surprise this week when Pixie Hollow publicist Sweet Pea announced to the community that it was welcoming a new member. His name is Slate — and he’s the joint’s first guy. Like Peter Pan’s famous blond friend, Slate has talent for tinkering. And if you must know, he’s not a fairy; he’s a “sparrow man.” Whatever you say, Slate. Nice wings, by the way. Slate’s also quite the metrosexual – he thinks that “Coal’s Clothiers has got some great Sparrow Man threads — and my good buddy, Gavin, up in Evergreen Overlook has some amazing hats and accessories for Sparrow Men as well.”
There’s always been a slight workaround —
But 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.
— but that didn’t go far enough for some parents (or whoever puts the pressure on Disney’s tinkerers). Except as everyone knows, Slate is really just Tinkerbell’s gay BFF.