Perhaps it shouldn’t be surprising that mermaids are taking the creepy creature torch from zombies and vampires. Odysseus had to tie himself to his ship’s mast to avoid sabotage by the sirens. The ones that appear in the show Siren are similarly murderous. And Disney’s clean-scrubbed version of Hans Christian Anderson’s deeply upsetting Little Mermaid is still a story about a sea-sprite willing to sacrifice her voice for the love of a prince.

There’s no place to celebrate mermaids’ slippery appeal quite like Coney Island’s Mermaid Parade. Since 1983, the annual free party has sent costumed mermaids on elaborate floats down New York City’s most iconic boardwalk, and it now entertains some 800,000 revelers. It’s a joyful, gender-fluid, sex-positive-yet-kid-friendly celebration of artistic expression, and a great way to start the summer. Author Neil Gaiman and musician Amanda Palmer will preside over the festivities tomorrow, as King Neptune and Queen Mermaid.

Image for article titled This summer, mermaids are the new vampires
Image: AP/Mary Altaffer

Isn’t it time you rewatched 



If you can’t go to the Mermaid Parade, you can at least indulge in this light-as-air 1984 rom-com starring Tom Hanks and Daryl Hannah, with Eugene Levy and John Candy in supporting roles. (Plus, Dody Goodman kills as the daffy secretary who wears her underwear over her clothes.)

Yes, it’s a little puzzling that Madison—an amphibious knockout from the North Atlantic who learns English from TV in a single afternoon—goes to such romantic lengths for Hanks’ character. But don’t question it too much. This movie delivers on 1980s nostalgia in spades, and is probably the least troubling mermaid tale you could hope to indulge in.

(Also nominated in this category: Madonna’s 1989 video for “Cherish.“ It was photographer Herb Ritts’ first music video ever, and urban legend is that two of those mermen were Pepperdine University water polo players.)

A truly great reason for parades: Pride!

Celebrations of LGBTQ pride are happening all over the world, all month long, with Ibiza, Zurich, Chicago, Baltimore, and Denver all marching this weekend. (San Francisco and Mexico City both celebrate next weekend). To celebrate the month, Quartz’s new series Global Pride looks at shifting notions of LGBTQ identity around the world.

Image for article titled This summer, mermaids are the new vampires
Image: AP/Nelson Antoine

This week, Quartz’s Thu-Huong Ha explored the endangered real estate of the LGBTQ bookshelf, those “wonderful little literary ghettos,” as the author Tim Murphy called them.

“The LGBT bookshelf, a place tucked away in the odd corner of a bookstore or library, might seem like a relic,” writes Thu. “It might seem, even, like a dangerous practice that makes it easier to hide queer and trans stories, one that could lead to censorship. But a place for these books has existed in the US in various forms over the last half a century—often as a space of refuge and connection for marginalized voices and the people who seek them.”

Image for article titled This summer, mermaids are the new vampires
Image: Amanda Baeza for Quartz

And Les Fabian Braithwaite wrote about CrossFit becoming the “gayest sport on the planet.” The high-intensity interval workout regimen, practiced in thousands of affiliate gyms worldwide, has spawned a global community of gay CrossFit bros. “It’s totally a cult,” one member told Les. “I have zero natural athletic ability, and felt left out of most sports growing up … with CrossFit I’ve finally come into my own athletically, after years of feeling too gay to play.”

Sunday is Father’s Day

Do something nice for a dad you love, and have a great weekend!

Image for article titled This summer, mermaids are the new vampires
Image for article titled This summer, mermaids are the new vampires
Image: Getty/John Lamparski

📬 Sign up for the Daily Brief

Our free, fast, and fun briefing on the global economy, delivered every weekday morning.