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The Sun used a photo of mermaids instead of trans charity Mermaids

Josh Jackman February 20, 2019
A picture from one of March of the Mermaids' events overlaid with tweets making fun of The Sun

March of the Mermaids raises money for marine conservation—not trans people (Twitter and March of the Mermaids/Facebook)

The Sun has been ridiculed after using a photo of people dressed as mermaids in an article about transgender children’s charity Mermaids.

On Wednesday (February 20), The Sun published a story about the National Lottery Community Fund confirming that it would award £500,000 to Mermaids after a two-month review.

But the British news outlet mistakenly included a photo of Brighton-based marine conservation campaign March of the Mermaids as its main image for the article, instead of the trans charity.

The slip-up was spotted by a trans activist on Twitter called Helen, who wrote: “Dear @TheSun, You *do* realise that the picture you’ve used to illustrate a story about trans kids charity @Mermaids_Gender is actually of marine conservation group @Mermaids_March?

“It’s a fab pic, but your accuracy has definitely gone off the deep end! D- #MustTryHarder.”

A screenshot of an article on The Sun;s website in which Mermaids is confused with March of the Mermaids
The article on The Sun’s website attracted ridicule (The Sun)

March of the Mermaids responded to the tweet by calling The Sun‘s mix-up “a hilarious accident” and heaping praise on Mermaids.

“I hope this does not overshadow the amazing success of (obtaining) your £500k grant. A massive congratulations from the @Mermaids_March team! ❤️ ‍♀️” added the marine conservation campaign’s Twitter account.

March of the Mermaids leader “not surprised” by The Sun‘s mistake

Speaking to PinkNews, March of the Mermaids co-organiser Jimmy Dean said: “I can’t say that I’m surprised to see a mistake from The Sun newspaper.

“It was certainly a surprise to see that they used a March of the Mermaids image in their article, considering how ourselves and Mermaids are two very different groups,” he added, before congratulating Mermaids.

“MotM respects and encourages diversity and equality, always! Brighton is a great place for the LGTBQ community to feel comfortable and accepted,” said Dean.

“I find The Sun mix-up to be a little comical… but also beautiful that we are now associated in some way to the trans community.”

— Jimmy Dean, co-organiser of March of the Mermaids

“We are proud to have them join our parade each year and we would personally like to congratulate Mermaids UK for securing their £500k grant, giving them more resources to change the lives of young transgender people and their families.

“Personally, I find The Sun mix-up to be a little comical from the lack of research from their side, but also beautiful that we are now associated in some way to the trans community,” continued Dean.

“We support Mermaids and the work they do!”

Mermaids CEO Susie Green told PinkNews that her organisation “appreciates the very good-natured response from the March of The Mermaids supporting our charity and the outcome of the review.

“The fact that the wrong organisation was pictured is actually quite funny, but perhaps doesn’t reflect well on the Sun’s checking processes.”

PinkNews has asked The Sun for comment.

Mermaids supporters pour ridicule on The Sun

Dean wasn’t the only person who found the error hilarious.

As well as the multiple users who posted cry-laugh emojis in response to Helen’s tweet, there was one person who commented: “I am a trans dude who loves marine life conservation.

“I approve on the sole grounds of how hilarious this is,” they added.

Another person posted a gif with the subtitle: “You’ve got to be kitten me,” while a different commenter wrote: “I think the Mermaids group the photo belongs to should ask for an apology and a donation to both charities.”

A comment from Susie Green was added to this article after publication.

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