My name is Whisper. I am 20 years old and have been in the mermaid community since I was 14.
I joined MerNetwork in late August of 2012 and began my o-fish-ial journey then. I read the resource and reference threads and was determined to have my own tail one day. At the time, there was a large gap between holographic fabric tails that didn't last and incredible works of silicone by higher-end tailmakers. I remember browsing the MerMagica site with my sisters--throwback!
Fin Fun was putting out silver diamond tails without monofins as a base--not many folks had heard of the community and weren't sure if it was safe for anyone besides the pros. But over time, popularity grew, trials were run, and most people realized that this was a safe, magical, and expensive pastime.
I got my first tail, Brynn's Celtic Green Fin Fun, on May 3rd, 2016. I had my first swim three months later at a gorgeous waterfall with little fish and crystal clear water.
In late November, my sister, who was the only one who fully supported my mermaid dream, passed on, and I was determined to honor the suggestions she had given me--if there was one thing I would do, it would be to go to MerMania, screw all the rest.
Five hours in a car and several hundred dollars later, we were off! It was the most amazing experience I've had so far. I met a lot of merfriends that I have only talked to through usernames for years, tailmakers that I admired wholly but could never afford, and vendors that indulged my impulses with amazing products (my $50 Competitor monofin from FINIS!).
Throughout the hardships, determining if I should delete everything and change my name, if I should shut down my accounts and pretend I was never interested, I have learned that despite communal issues, drama, heartbreak--there is a magic about mermaiding that is solely its own, no need to have a group setting. It is wild and free--and we are no ordinary people.