My Brother is a Mermaid is a 20 minute magical realist drama, about the unconditional love and admiration of a younger brother for their transgender sibling. 7 year old Kuda desperately wants the time and attention of his 15 year old brother - Kai. Kai brings magic into Kuda’s life; inventing games and taking Kuda surfing on the vast craggy beaches that surround their run-down coastal town.
On their way to the beach one day, Kuda watches helplessly as Kai is attacked and humiliated by a group of thugs, who call Kai ‘tranny’. Kuda doesn’t know what this means, but is traumatised by what he’s seen, Kuda wonders why anyone would hurt Kai?
Out at sea as Kuda tries to surf, his imagination spirals. He battles against the waves, Why would they do that to Kai? He falls off his board, tumbling beneath the surface of the water. As Kai swims over to help, Kuda sees a glimmer of shiny scales then the elegant paddle of… a mermaid tail?!
Kuda always knew that there was something different about Kai, but until now he’d never known what. Could it be possible that his brother, his Kai… was a mermaid!?
My Brother is a Mermaid follows Kuda’s imaginative journey as he discovers that his sibling is transgender. Whilst their mum, Jill, and the local community pressure Kai to be, in their words, ‘normal’, Kuda remains determined to support Kai and discover her mermaid secrets. As Kai fights against the expectation of gender conformity, Kuda’s innocence, indifference to gender norms, and unconditional love proves to be a powerful and disruptive force for good in the face of fear and prejudice. Ultimately it is the story of an unchanging relationship of love between siblings, whilst one of them goes through the biggest personal change of their lives.
MBIAM is social-realist fairytale, merging social drama with fantasy, marrying vivid imagination with grit and emotional authenticity. Whilst transgender stories are making steady progress in the mainstream, MBIAM is a leap forward, bringing a trans story into new genre with a completely fresh perspective. We aim to make a universally human story that is celebratory, entertaining and full of love and hope, but that confronts the difficult and often brutal realities faced by young transgender people in the UK today.