Log In

Reset Password

Inaugural champions crowned at Pride Prom

First Prev 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 Next Last
Hamilton Princess hosts the Pride Prom for LGBTQ+ Icon Awards. Pictured is Abigail Kempe and James Birch (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

Bermuda’s LGBTQ+ community celebrated its first Pride Prom at the Hamilton Princess last night, and recognised a few of the organisations that have supported it over the years.

The event, held by OutBermuda as part of Bermuda Pride festivities, was intended to give those in the LGBTQ+ community an opportunity to enjoy a prom the way they were not able to when they were younger.

Sara Corday, who championed the event, said: “People of my age may have had to go to prom with someone who they didn’t want to go to prom with.

“We wanted to give people the opportunity to have the prom they didn’t and be able to express themselves in the way they wanted to and come with who they wanted to.

“It feels amazing to see it come to life. It has been months and months and months of work with lots of e-mails, lots of Zoom meetings so to have it come to fruition is beautiful.”

Yasmin Eve-Townsend attends the Pride Prom at the Hamilton Princess (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)

In addition to music, dancing and a silent auction, organisers presented a series of awards to honour organisations that have done noteworthy work in the LGBTQ+ space.

The campaign group Two Words and a Comma was granted the Advocacy Icon Award for its dedication to the advancement of human rights on the island, crediting the group’s hard work for legislation to prohibit discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation being approved in 2013.

Suzanne Mayall, a member of the group, said that in addition to the legislative change, a highlight of the experience was watching young people learn the political process and become more willing to have difficult conversations.

“It was wonderful to watch younger people’s voices grow,” she said.

She added that rights, once won, must be defended.

Peter Carpenter, another group member, said he was overjoyed to be able to take part in the Pride Prom, stating that such awareness was not there when he was younger.

“It is truly overwhelming. So many people are here who I love deeply, and we can be ourselves,” he said. “We can be comfortable. We are in a public place. It has not always been like this.”

Mr Carpenter said that while they were successful in their struggle, there was still work to be done.

Ayo Johnson, another group member, highlighted the need to work with those who were outside the community in order to make true progress.

“We work on the foundations of our allies, but the real work is to build human rights culture by turning our critics into allies,” he said. “We start with people who agree with us, but we have to work with people who don’t agree with us.”

He also highlighted the work of the late Walton Brown and Renée Webb, who took political risks to ensure progress, and the many others who laboured to bring equality.

“They approached people who thought they were scum and went into their living rooms and had conversations with them,” Mr Johnson said.

Rock Island Coffee was given the Allyship Icon Award for its dedication to the island’s LGBTQ+ community over the past 30 years, hosting meetings for Two Words and A Comma and Outlet, OutBermuda’s peer support group.

Lisabet Outerbridge, owner of Rock Island Coffee, told the attendees: “We have lost a lot of friends. They have left Bermuda seeking happiness and love in other places, and we recognise that naturally we want safe spaces for people because we want people to stay.

“We want our friends and family to stay in Bermuda.”

The Bermuda National Library was recognised with the Community Building Icon Award, with OutBermuda praising the library team as advocates and the library as the embodiment of a safe space committed to inclusion.

Nikki Bowers, a librarian at the Bermuda National Library, said she felt the library was an oasis for everyone in the community.

“When the discourse is heated and unkind, I have always felt it’s important to work in a space where we can bring our whole selves,” she said.

“Yes, we are about books, but I think most importantly we are a space where everyone can show up and be themselves and it is a free space. And it is air-conditioned. And you can charge your phones.”

Myles Smith at last night’s Pride Prom at the Hamilton Princess (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Hamilton Princess hosts the Pride Prom for LGBTQ+ Icon Awards. Pictured is DaeLyn Saint-Surin (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Sybil Barrington, the Queen of Bermuda, celebrates the Pride Prom at the Hamilton Princess (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Yasmin Eve-Townsend, DaeLyn Saint-Surin and Morgan Amos attend last night’s Pride Prom at the Hamilton Princess (Photograph by Blaire Simmons)
Ayo Johnson, Suzanne Mayall and Peter Carpenter, of Two Words and a Comma, accept an Icon Award at the OutBermuda Pride Prom (Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes)
Attendees enjoy the first Pride Prom as part of Bermuda Pride festivities (Photograph by Owain Johnston-Barnes)

You must be Registered or to post comment or to vote.

Published August 26, 2023 at 8:00 am (Updated August 28, 2023 at 7:04 am)

Inaugural champions crowned at Pride Prom

What you
Need to
1. For a smooth experience with our commenting system we recommend that you use Internet Explorer 10 or higher, Firefox or Chrome Browsers. Additionally please clear both your browser's cache and cookies - How do I clear my cache and cookies?
2. Please respect the use of this community forum and its users.
3. Any poster that insults, threatens or verbally abuses another member, uses defamatory language, or deliberately disrupts discussions will be banned.
4. Users who violate the Terms of Service or any commenting rules will be banned.
5. Please stay on topic. "Trolling" to incite emotional responses and disrupt conversations will be deleted.
6. To understand further what is and isn't allowed and the actions we may take, please read our Terms of Service
7. To report breaches of the Terms of Service use the flag icon