Sybil to sing as part of Pride celebrations

  • Island icon: Sybil Barrington (Photograph supplied)

    Island icon: Sybil Barrington (Photograph supplied)

Organisers of an event to mark Bermuda’s milestone first gay Pride march almost a year ago are unsure if a commemoration planned for this weekend will go ahead.

Thousands took to the streets of Hamilton on August 31 last year in an unprecedented show of support for LGBTQ people.

The group behind the event said last night that they had still to get permission for a “candlelit moment of reflection” planned for Saturday.

Organisers said the event would go ahead if they were given the green light by Renée Ming, the national security minister, before noon tomorrow.

The 30-minute event, if approved, would be held at a central location, with physical-distancing, masks and candles.

But Sybil Barrington, the Queen of Bermuda, has planned a separate series of events — Pride Addition — to mark the occasion.

Mark Anderson, the artist and human rights activist behind the Sybil persona, said yesterday he would mark the anniversary with a performance at 9pm under the Flagpole on Front Street in Hamilton on Saturday.

He said: “This is a tremendous milestone for Bermuda, to see just how far we’ve come to accept the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer community.

“Although Covid-19 has disrupted day to day life, let alone special events globally for gay pride, Bermuda will still be having socially distanced and responsible events to mark this momentous anniversary.”

Mr Anderson added that the Saturday night event was not intended as a public gathering, but would be recorded — with those who choose to watch encouraged to stream it live for others to enjoy.

Mr Anderson said: “Since the pandemic is affecting everyone, I want to have people from all walks of life to perform a lip-sync to recognise and honour our essential workers.”

The drag performer will recreate the 1985 charity single We Are the World, with guests lined up to perform the roles of different artists who took part in the original recording.

Mr Anderson said: “It’s about bringing the community together as one. We’re all part of the world. It will open with a tribute in honour of essential workers.

“People can watch from across the street or see it as they pass in their cars. If people stand on the sidewalk, we encourage them to please socially distance.”

Mr Anderson added: “To me, that place symbolises the centre of Bermuda. I love the atmosphere about it.”

Mr Anderson, as Sybil Barrington, will perform with artists Chrissy Dior and Anome Amaya Devaro Simons, with a “surprise” live singer and two speakers.

He said: “I’m asking people who come by to film it for Bermudians to watch and people outside Bermuda to watch on social media, to recognise gay pride.”

Mr Anderson will perform with singer Joy T. Barnum and DJ Felix at a brunch in The Loren in Smith’s from 11am to 3pm on Sunday.

Reservations can be booked through the hotel at $55 per person.

Mr Anderson added: “Also on Sunday, I have asked for people to come out to Horseshoe Bay Beach and bring your flags — again with social-distancing.

“I will be showing as Sybil Barrington at 4.30pm.”

He said: “I want everyone to enjoy themselves as best they can this weekend, to make it a soothing one, a relaxing one, and also recognise that we are all part of the community.”

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Published Aug 6, 2020 at 8:00 am (Updated Aug 6, 2020 at 8:27 am)

Sybil to sing as part of Pride celebrations

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