Show of support for gay cruise visitors
Dozens of gay supporters gathered at Latin’s Rumbar to party the night away with “fabulous” singing and dancing from the ‘Queen of Bermuda’ Sybil Barrington.
In the spirit of celebrating diversity, locals and visitors of all ages enjoyed the event in honour of gay cruise ship visitors onboard the Celebrity Summit and Norwegian Gem.
There were no protesters outside the bash; which came days after preacher Scott Smith delivered an anti-gay rant at a weekend event to promote peace and unite people against violence.
The community activist later apologised for going overboard, but said he remained firm in his belief that “homosexuality is an abomination”.
San Francisco resident Sam Berliner, 28, who is taking part in the Queer-Trans Film Festival onboard the Norwegian cruise ship, turned out to last night’s event to show solidarity.
He said: “People had been reading the paper and we heard it in the news that there had been a religious figure here saying they do not want queer folks to come here on vacation.
“We also heard there was another cruise ship that also had about 50 people and everyone was going to try and come tonight to show support.
“We are not protesting because that is not our place, but it is important to show support just by being here and by our presence we thought we were helping.”
Mr Berliner said his group watched a film on the ship about queer persecution in the Caribbean. “When we found out it was going on in real life we thought we have to do something because the film made us want to act.”
He called the event “fabulous” and praised the performers for their “wonderful” singing impressions.
Mr Berlinger admitted to being from an “extraordinarily accepting” place and said: “I hope it can change soon [in Bermuda] because in San Francisco we have been fighting for marriage, it’s so far past general acceptance and it gives me a sense of how lucky we are with what we do have and we want to help people get to where we are.”
Entertainer Sybil Barrington, aka Mark Anderson, showed off lip-syncing abilities in a fierce animal print ensemble.
In between sets ‘Sybil’ told the audience there were some “haters” on the Island who disagreed with their sexual orientation, but added: “When someone disrespects you in any way do not feed into it just say gracefully ‘I love you too’”.
A 33-year-old local man said he attended the festivities because it was “different from what Bermuda normally accepts”.
He said he hoped locals would be more accepting of diversity and said the Island was losing some young people who choose to stay overseas in more open-minded countries.
A woman who works in business sales said while Bermuda prides itself for being diverse, it has failed to accept all facets of our society.
“There are more that accept than do not. It’s just that people that accept aren’t as vocal as the ones who do not. The emptiest vessels make the most noise.”
James King (1938-2019)
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