International award for Queen of Bermuda Mark Anderson
A leading US Rotary Club district is profiling Sybil Barrington, the Queen of Bermuda, as a drag performer as part of its events marking Pride month.
Mark Anderson, the man behind Ms Barrington, said he had been picked as a “legendary” drag personality on the international circuit by the club after more than 30 years of performance.
He said he was informed of his selection last month by the diversity, equity, and inclusion committee for Rotary Distinct 7230, which covers Bermuda along with metropolitan New York.
Mr Anderson highlighted years of activism that included a stand-off with the Government in 2006 over taking part in the Bermuda Day Parade.
An online broadcast today at 9pm Bermuda time, which can be viewed by a Zoom link, will include “LGBTQ in Pop Culture”.
“It was very meaningful – it makes up a lot for a lot of events over my journey,” Mr Anderson said. “It has not been an easy journey.”
Mr Anderson recalled being arrested in 1982 for performing in drag – until his late grandmother, who worked for the police, got him released.
He dedicated his recognition to the late Michael Fox, a founder of the Allan Vincent Smith Foundation HIV charity; Carolyn Armstrong, the director and founder of Support Therapy for Aids patients and their Relatives; and Gwen Robinson, Russ Ford Sr and Sandy Butterfield for their assistance to the LGBTQ community during their work in addiction services.
Mr Anderson also singled out the late drag performers who “paved the way”: Miss World, Miss Mamie, Miss Princess Charisma, Brenda Lana Smith, Miss Redbird, Miss Lady Gilda, and the pioneering Duchess of Devonshire.