Last month, there was that whole “Mermay” thing, where artists draw all different types of mermaids, mostly gay mermaids. Which is nice. Not really a thing that I’m personally into a whole lot, but it’s cool for everyone who is. But what’s the point of this post is hearing my friend Gabi talking about how mermaids were something of a coping mechanism for her; how she discovered things about her gender and sexuality. Which is something that kind of stuck with me; she’s much younger than I am, so there’s something of a generational gap between us, but it’s not as though there was no mermaid related content for my childhood self to be influenced by. Like The Little Mermaid, a movie I must have seen dozens of times as a kid.
So I had to really sit down and think: what was it that got me into the whole “queer/trans” thing?
Turns out I didn’t have to think for very long, because it’s something that has influenced by art and general “aesthetic.”
Sailor Moon was on the air when I was a kid (station UPN 20, channel 3 on your cable box), and it was a big massive deal for me. Though, I was about seven years old, and had zero understanding of gender other than “boys and girls are different,” so I didn’t really understand why I loved watching that show so much. I just knew that I did, but I also knew that I had to keep it a secret; it was a girl’s show, and I was already getting beaten up at school enough without adding that to the reasons why.
Now while that was great, what really pushed me over the edge, so to speak, was when I somehow got an issue of Diehard Gamefan Magazine. You may remember Gamefan as a magazine known for having really great page layouts, and a dedication to covering import games, before completely imploding because the higher ups were all racist dickheads who were bad with money. Anyways, this particular issue had a three-page spread for the Sega Saturn game, Magic Knight Rayearth. Now, I had no idea that it was based on an anime, or even what an anime was, but something about those screenshots hooked me. I saw three cool looking girls fighting monsters, and it was the most appealing thing in the world. Of course, as I got older, I started to figure it all out; how it all would later play a role in being queer. Magical Girls are fucking awesome. They are my mermaid.
But this is a post called “cultural confession,” and here’s the confession: I’m 31 years old, going on 32, and I still have not watched more than one episode of Rayearth, and I’m still only partway through the Saturn game. You would think that with this series being so integral to my identity, I would have this encyclopedic knowledge of it. But I don’t. I am one of those fake gamer girls who doesn’t know shit about nothing! I keep telling myself that I’ll finally sit down one day and binge-watch the whole series. Maybe that will be a goal to reach before the end of the year?