Besides wanting better representation, Tucker also needed respite in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, racial violence, and a family health issue. “I really was sick of seeing so much negativity and hostility towards Black people online, that I needed something joyful to look forward to,” she tells me. She was also inspired by #28DaysofCosplay, created by Chaka Cumberbatch-Tinsley, during which Black cosplayers share their costumes every day in February. Tucker says she loved seeing everyone’s cosplay during that month and wanted to do something similar but in the springtime, her favorite season. And thus, Black Fae Day was born.
She wasn’t alone in her frustration, and soon her tweet was shared across social media platforms. “I realized, uh-oh, maybe more people really do believe in this as well,” Tucker says. With encouragement from her partner Carlos, she began to form a larger community and launched a Facebook group. Soon she expanded Black Fae Day to other platforms, including Instagram, TikTok, and an official website, and formed a team of folks (including Carlos) who help plan events and maintain the community. Since then, Black Fae Day has become so much more than just an annual holiday.
Black Fae Day has changed a lot in its two years of existence. In 2022, Tucker and her team held their first in-person event at Cha’le Gardens, a Black-owned venue in Atlanta. The theme was Land vs Sea to bridge the mermaid and fairy communities. (In cosplay communities, May is Mer-May, which is full of activities and events for lovers of mermaids.)
For 2023, they returned with another in-person event during the last weekend in April. The official theme was Fairytale Gala: Royals and the event was held in Texas at the Castle of Rockwall — how can you get more regal than that? “All of us have agency and sovereignty of our own lives,” Turner says. “I really genuinely wanted people to feel like royalty.” She tried to ensure every guest who walked into the gala got the VIP experience, offering a fancy dinner, a vendor’s market, and performances from burlesque dancers, singers, and other creators.
Black Fae Day has officially become a full-time job for Tucker. Though she still works in early childhood education at local libraries, these days she’s thinking of all the ways to expand the business of Black Fae Day, which is a lot easier said than done. “This all has been an extreme crash course into community organizing as well as business. I don’t have any background in business,” she says. “But I was so committed to the needs of my community that I went ahead and did it.” In April, she created the non-profit arm of Black Fae Day called The Fae of The Shade, which she wants to use that to fundraise and help amplify the work of Black creatives in the fantasy realm. (Currently, they’re still in the planning stages, but anyone interested can sign up here.)