“I’ve had a very tense relationship with my body. I was assaulted and I had a breast reduction operation when I was young. Those experiences are directly tied to being a woman. In the last few years I’ve really taken ownership of my body. I’m not just a floating head, there is a body attached and it’s a gift. Because there are so many societal forces against that, it feels like a triumph being part of this parade and getting an IUD. I don’t regret getting the breast reduction surgery but I wouldn’t do it now. “ - Samantha Johnson participated in the mermaid parade in Coney Island dressed in honor of the Santeria Orisha Yemaya.