Gabrielle Rivera as Nymphia, the Nautilus Mermaid, near the Golden Gate Bridge, Brandi Rollins Gabrielle Rivera is a 25-year-old professional mermaid based in the Bay Area, California. At the age of 19, a friend introduced Rivera to online community of merfolk, people also interested in mermaids and costuming. From there, her character Nymphia, The Nautilus Mermaid, was born. Today, Rivera performs as Nymphia everywhere from corporate events and kids' parties, to aquarium and water shows, starting at a rate of $250 for a 90-minute appearance. Rivera says that as a trans woman, cosplay and working as a mermaid has helped her explore and build up confidence in her femininity. Here's her story, as told to freelance author Jenny Powers. Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories. For as long as I can remember, I've been drawn to the sea.

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  • Job diary: I'm a professional mermaid who makes upwards of $250 for an appearance. Here's how I turned my passion for cosplay into a business.
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