Celebrating Pride with Mermaids

In case you missed it, our limited edition Rainbow Hearts collection launched on Thursday in celebration of Pride Month and to continue our support of the LGBTQ+ community.

50% of the net sales from each piece will be donated to Mermaids, who do incredible work supporting transgender, non-binary and gender-diverse children, young people, and their families. Although pieces are now sold out, we'll be bringing back a few of the styles so that we can support Mermaids all year round.

Read our interview with the charity below to learn more about their work and what we can all do to help support them and the LGBTQ+ community.

Why is Pride important and what does it mean to Mermaids?

Pride began as a protest against an unjust system and the mistreatment of the LGBTQ+ community. Pride month is a month where we can remember all those that have fought for the rights of LGBTQ+ people and rejoice in their lives now.

People give Pride power. People give Pride purpose.

This Pride month at Mermaids, we're focussing on #MyPrideFamily. Family underpins everything we do at Mermaids supporting transgender, non-binary and gender diverse young people, their families and caregivers. Whether it's your chosen LGBTQ+, biological or adopted family, we want to celebrate them for the support, kindness and shelter they bring.

How is Pride Month different in 2021 to previous years and how are Mermaids celebrating?

Much like last year because of Covid-19, a lot of Pride events are still online so we've created a digital Pride Pack with activities to share and music to listen and dance to. It all adds up to time well spent, laughter spread and love felt, no matter how far apart you might be.

For all of our content creators and streamers this year you can join the #MyPrideFamily fundraiser on Tiltify, to raise funds for the thousands of people who access Mermaids services every year. Check it out!

Would you please tell us about the brilliant resources you provide on your website?

Our resources help to inform, educate and provide sound support. At Mermaids we offer a range of resources for young people, parents, over 19's, professionals, teachers and organisations. The helpline sits at the very heart of our charity, and we have seen a big rise in the number of people seeking support via test, email and phone. we have been unable to offer residential weekends for families but hopefully we'll return to these amazing, life-affirming events by the close of the year. In the meantime, our local groups across the UK have stayed in touch with digital meetings. We continue to offer training on trans awareness and empowerment, via our accredited video-conference training sessions.

Your Instagram is a great place for both resources and community - how has the presence of social media helped in your mission?

Our presence on social media has helped our message to reach a wider audience and it's more important now than ever before. We're reaching more people everyday with our Instagram Lives and regular posts across all platforms. Our social media is used to try and uplift people facing challenges and it also often the first port of call for those trying to reach out for support.

The past year has been a difficult time. How has the pandemic affected the LGBTQ+ community and the work that you do?

Firstly, the lack of engagement with the public on a face-to-face basis had greatly impacted our outreach and community endevours. We have seen a rise in hate crime against the trans community in the last 5 years. In the last year specifically during coronavirus, we have all witness an ongoing media and political campaign against the furtherment of trans rights - which are, of course, human rights.

The political power play that has actively regressed the rights of the trans community has caused a level of stress and exhaustion for those of us actively working towards real change. The pandemic has left many feeling lonely and unsure about what the future holds. For many, there has been further delay in access to gender-affirming care, and decreased access to social safe spaces which are crucial to the wellbeing of so many.

Rising reports of hate crimes towards gender diverse children and their families, and the hostility they face daily can be frightening. What steps can individuals and small business like ourselves take to support them?

Create a trans-inclusive workplace:

  • Make trans-inclusive practices and policies a part of your work structure
  • Listen to trans voices and their stories. There are some great movies that are not only informative but inspirational such as Disclosure.
  • Attend workshops and training to understand the roots of discrimination and stigma this includes anti-racism work as well.
  • Foster an environment of respect: using correct pronouns, names, gender-neutral toilets and more. We can offer advice on these questions from our legal, policy and training teams.

What can we hope to see from Mermaids in the future?

Mermaids continues to grow it's reach, connecting the intersectionalities within the broad trans community. We are preparing for the launch of the Mermaids podcast, a game-changing series, centering trans voices around topics that go well beyond gender and we're excited to be planning a new schedule of residential weekends and service user events, bringing young people and families together again after such a long and difficult period apart.

Head to the Mermaids website for more information and follow them on Instagram here.