Ariel Mei 梅 is a queer Chinese American artist and scuba diver in Redmond, Washington. Her work is designed to showcase the beauty of the underwater world. Through her underwater photography, her goal is to raise awareness about the human impact on our oceans.
I once had someone ask me “Can Asians Be Gay?” As sad as this made me feel, it also hit home with my own struggle of being a woman of color and being queer. I’m now at a place in my life where I can thoroughly embrace and celebrate every part of my identity.
Meet the Grunt Sculpin…a fish that is bad at being a fish. The Grunt Sculpin cannot swim. Instead, it “hops” around on its fins, looking for cracks and crevices to hide in. This one found a home in the remains of a crab claw. Apparently, you can hear them grunt, hence the name. I have yet to hear them. Taken at Point Hudson, WA in 2023.
“Seal the Deal”
Sea Lions are as mischievous as they are inquisitive. This particular dive had me surrounded by 15 at once, nibbling on my head, my fins, my camera… Thankfully I had enough room to snap these photos. Taken at Nanaimo, BC in 2023.