A Match for a Mermaid
One of the morals of my story is that sometimes what you’re looking for can be right in front of you.
In my story A Match for a Mermaid, a mermaid princess called Malu decides she wants to get married before she becomes queen. She rejects multiple eligible mermen from across the oceans, only for her female best friend to propose to her! The story ends with the two queens preparing to rule together.
Whilst presenting this moral, I hoped to show that a same-sex relationship is no different to a heterosexual one. In our society today, even when gay unions are accepted there is often still a stigma attached to them. In my book, however, the engagement and then marriage of two female characters is never once questioned or over-explained in a way that would present it as unusual. I hope that by normalising same sex relationships in my story, I can help ensure that my readers grow up to be completely accepting of them.
I know that if this book had existed when I was growing up, I’d have been able to accept my own identity a lot more readily; I would have grown up with LGBQ representation being a part of the media I consumed and thus would have been able to see non-heterosexual relationships as normal. I’d also have loved to have had the same reaction Malu has when she realises she has feelings for someone of the same gender, as opposed to feeling as confused and lost as I was. By writing this story I hope I’ve contributed to somebody else, some day, having that completely peaceful and accepting reaction.
The other moral I want to present in my story is the idea that a person – or mermaid – should always be true to who they are, even if they’re scared to be. I explore this idea through Brooke, who pushes her own feelings for Malu aside in order to try and give her what she wants. By the end of the tale, however, she is finally able to pluck up the courage to tell Malu that she wants to marry her. Through Brooke and her character arc, I hoped to show children, and even adults, that they don’t need to be afraid of speaking up and being honest about who they are; if Brooke had never confessed her feelings, she’d have never become a queen, let alone married the love of her life!
Eleanor Cullen is one of the emerging writers contributing to 10 Stories to Make a Difference. Her story, A Match for a Mermaid, illustrated by David Roberts, is a wonderful tale about friendship and same-sex union.