The Story of Silence is based on a 13th century French chivalric romance, distinguished by its prominent discussion of gender. Reimagined by Alex Myers, we found it to be a compelling exploration of transgender identity in an oppressively binary medieval society – and we just had to talk to Alex about it!
At its heart, Silence’s story is very much a chivalric romance, full of drama, dragons, magic and music. What power, we ask, lingers in this ancient genre and are its larger than life knights, damsels and daring still relevant today? Is there anything they can tell us that impacts modern discussions of gender identity?
Mentioned in this episode:
- Revolutionary by Alex Myers
- Sir Gawain and the Green Knight by the Gawain Poet
- The Loathly Lady (tale)
- The Arthurian Legends
- The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell
- The Knight and the Sword (tale)
- Merlin (1998)
- Star Trek (seriously)
Alex Myers is a writer, teacher and speaker. Born in Paris, Maine, Alex was raised as a girl until he left Maine to attend boarding school at Phillips Exeter Academy. At Exeter, Alex came out as transgender, returning his senior year as a man, and was the first transgender student in that Academy’s history.
After Exeter, Alex earned his bachelor’s at Harvard University, studying Near Eastern Languages and Civilisations. Alex was also the first openly transgender student at Harvard and worked to change the University’s nondiscrimination clause to include gender identity.
Subsequent to earning a master’s degree in religion at Brown, Alex has pursued a career in teaching, as a transgender advocate, and as an active journalist contributing to the Guardian, THEM and other publications. He currently lives in New Hampshire with his wife and two cats.