Davi de Oliveira Moreira, a 22-year-old Brazilian from Rio de Janeiro who likes dressing up as a mermaid (or merman) in his spare time. He goes by Sereio (which is Portuguese for “merman”) and he’s just one among several merman who have been recently covered by the international press including Merman Jax and Prince Blix.
Moreira, who was inspired by Disney’s 1989 animated film The Little Mermaid, recently told the Agence France Presse (AFP), “It’s a lifestyle, a way of expressing my love and respect for the sea and this encounter between two worlds. When I’m in the water I feel like another person.”
According to the AFP, an increasing number of men have begun dressing up as mermen on coastal cities — some just hang out by the the beach in leg-length body stockings with tail fins. Others enhance their mythical appearance by wearing crowns, body makeup or dying their beards different colors. Some mermen perform as professional models or resort entertainers, have large social media followings or just do it for fun, but not all merman are gay.
In 2013, the Headline News channel interviewed Eric Ducharme, a hunky, Florida-based merman performer who makes his own tails. Let’s take a look:
An informal survey of the mermen in the social circle of a mermaid performer known as Raina the Halifax Mermaid found that 41% identified as straight and that 69% experienced stigma for dressing up in a “female” form of fantasy play. Raina points out that mythological mermen actually predate mermaids in literature and that the earliest mermen were often ugly, bearded and sometimes seduced women.
“I’m not trying to escape reality. I know perfectly well how to deal with adult life. But this makes me happy and I’m not causing anyone any harm,” Moreira said. “People laugh at me because I am different, but I laugh back because they are all the same.”