Transgender Mermaids: The Untold Story
Ever since the Jazz Jennings show "I Am Jazz" premiered, the interest in transgender mermaids has been on the rise. In one of the season one episodes, Jazz and her mom Jeanette talk about how many transgender girls are completely "obsessed" with mermaids. In fact, Jazz Jennings has such a fascination with mermaids that she has created her own small business around mermaid culture. Purple Rainbow Tails is the company that Jazz started to sell silicone mermaid tails that she creates herself. These tails are made to be water resistant and can stand up to regular sessions of swimming like a mermaid.
Of course, the question that most people ask is "Why mermaids -- why not some other animal or creature?" The reasons may be varied and complex, and they may vary with each girl. However, a common theme is that mermaids may hold a special appeal because they have a high level of human feminine facial features and upper body features while having a lower body that isn't that of a traditional human female. Many transgender girls may relate to this because they know that they are truly females no matter what their genitalia may be.
Mermaids and Femininity
It is quite common for transgender girls to be fascinated by the most traditionally feminine colors and styles because it is a way to assert their true gender. Mermaids traditionally have long, elegantly flowing hair and are often dressed in beautifully sparkly shades of pink, purple, and other traditionally feminine colors.
A mermaid's genitalia is a mystery, so gender cues must be taken from what appears on the top half of the body. Many transgender girls would love to be taken at face value in that same way: They would like for people to focus on their feminine appearance and draw the conclusion that they are female without being focused on what lies below the waist.
While there are currently no completed studies regarding the mermaid phenomenon, it appears to be an undeniably strong fascination among transgender girls of all ages. Little transgender girls as young as four or five may become completely entranced with mermaids and continue that love as they grow into teenagers.
Of course, children of any gender may be fascinated by mermaids. However, the amount of girls who love mermaids is far higher than the number of boys -- and the percentage of transgender girls who adore mermaids appears to be even higher than that of their non-transgender female counterparts.
Supporting a Transgender Child or Teen
Parental and overall familial support is one of the most critical things in a transgender child's life. Parents who try to force their child into living as the gender they were assigned at birth inevitably do more harm than good. According to statistics from the 2011 National Transgender Discrimination survey, an alarming 41 percent of transgender people had attempted to take their own lives. This compares to a nationwide suicide attempt rate of only 4.6 percent.
Support means being there with a non-judgemental ear. It means not making any assumptions about a transgender person's sexual orientation. It means being respectful of pronouns. What pronoun does the transgender child prefer? Use it faithfully to show your support. Transgender support can go well beyond showing support for a little transgender girl's love of mermaids --- but that can be a great place to start.
by SlickLion, TRANZGENDR