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Reverend and the Makers frontman John McClure reveals classic track is actually about a child having gender dysphoria

Emma Powys Maurice October 3, 2020
Reverend and the Makers

Reverend and the Makers performing live at Carling Academy for Liverpool Sound City (Mark McNulty/Photoshot/Getty)

The frontman of English rock band Reverend and the Makers has revealed that the 2009 song ‘Mermaid’ was written about a child struggling with gender dysphoria.

Jon “The Reverend” McClure, lead vocalist of the Sheffield-based band, casually disclosed the truth behind his much-loved song in a tweet on Friday (October 2).

“I wrote this 13 years ago about my friends kid who had gender dysphoria,” they wrote, tagging the transgender children’s charity Mermaids.

A closer look at the lyrics reveals clear transgender overtones, beginning with the chorus itself: “There’s no escaping from / The man it seems that I’ve become / Despite the fact that we are one / I turn my back and I try and run away.”

The song continues: “Don’t make me put ’em on / The trousers you bought yesterday / Probably won’t fit me anyway / If I close my eyes and I hope that I might change.”

And if listeners are left in any doubt, the next verse makes it pretty clear: “There’s nowhere I can run / To beat the taunts that you find fun / And to be the daughter and not the son / I wonder if that’s what you really crave.”

Mermaids was thrilled to learn of the song’s true meaning. “Wait… we did not know this!” they tweeted back. Wow @Reverend_Makers, this rocks. All these years we’ve had an anthem and we didn’t know it!”

And the reaction from within the trans community was even stronger.

“Rev – every time you tweet you go up in my estimations – thank you,” wrote one happy parent, adding: “@Mermaids_Gender deserve all the help and plaudits they get.”



More: gender dysphoria, mermaids, trans kids

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