Cybil War: Me, myself and I

The host of Cybil’s House thinks Cher is a genius and is mesmerised by Riverdance.

Where are you from originally?

I’m from a military family so I moved around a lot when I was young but from the age of about 7 I grew up in Kingston in Southwest London.

And where do you live now?

I live with two fabulous lady housemates in a warehouse in Mile End. It’s walking distance from the White Swan too, so it’s perfect.

What do you love about London and why?

There is just something indescribable about London. It’s a total melting pot of cultures yet every part of the city has its own unique identity. You’re constantly surrounded by inspiration and as a drag artist there is nothing better.

What was the first gay venue you visited?

Ghetto for their rock/metal night on a Monday called Red Eye. I was 17 and I remember deciding that I had to go because I’d never met any other gay guys into rock. Ghetto had the most amazing atmosphere no matter what night of the week you went. Some of my best friends today are people I met in that dingy basement and it will always have a place in my heart.

Favourite gay venue in London? 

Obviously I love the White Swan because it feels like a hidden gem in the heart of London. Similarly The Glory and Her Upstairs have that real community feel, which I think is sometimes missing from LGBT venues in big cities. With venues closing left, right and centre we have to keep going out and supporting them.

What was the last theatre show you saw?

The last show I saw was this amazing mime show by the Familie Flöz at the Peacock Theatre as part of the London International Mime Festival. It was a masterclass in physical theatre with the three performers playing over 30 characters. I’d never seen a mime show before and it was amazing!

Guilty pleasure?

I can’t believe I’m going to admit this: Riverdance. I’m a huge Eurovision fan, which in itself can be classed as a guilty pleasure, but ever since I saw Riverdance in the 1994 show I was hooked. There’s something about the drumming and the dance that I find just mesmerising.

Biggest extravagance?

Make up; I dread to think how much money I’ve spent on the stuff. I need to get more Instagram followers so people will start sending it to me for free…

Best gift you’ve ever received?

It was a copy of the novel Ender’s Game by Orson Scott Card, given to me by my last girlfriend in secondary school. It was the book that ignited my passion for reading and I’ve basically had a book on the go ever since.

What has been the highlight of your career?

Starting my own club night has really been the highlight of my career.  I’ve been lucky that it’s allowed me to meet so many new friends and people seem to be really enjoying it too, which is all I wanted.

If you could go back in time which year would you choose?

The 1970s. To be around when Bowie and the glam rock era was first taking off would have been amazing.

What’s the best party you’ve ever been to?

I was lucky enough to live in New York for two years and there is a legendary party promoter called Ladyfag who throws these warehouse parties called SHADE. I’ve never danced as hard or for as long as I did at its Pride party in 2015. One side of the warehouse was open to the river and dancing to Honey Dijon as the sun came up was something else.

What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given?

“What other people think of you is none of your business”

Who is your LGBT hero?

Any LGBT person who is unapologetically themselves in this world is a hero to me. Oh, and Grace Jones.

Who are the most entertaining people you follow on Twitter?

It goes without saying that Cher is the greatest person on Twitter. At the moment she’s refusing to use Donald Trump’s name and has replaced it with a toilet emoji whenever she rants about him. Pure genius. I think hundreds of years from now Cher’s Twitter will be the stuff of legend or perhaps some sort of holy text.

Where in the world would you like to visit before you die?

I’m fascinated by the Arctic and I would give anything to see the Northern Lights. There’s just something really magical about the landscape that I would love to experience. I’ve also always wanted to go to Botswana and see the Okavango Delta in full flood.

What is one thing you wish you knew when you were younger?

I’ve always hopped around from hobby to hobby so I’m OK at a lot of things, but I’m not amazing at any one skill. So I wish I’d found one thing when I was younger and really stuck to it.

Cybil hosts Night of a Thousand Cybils this Saturday (21 Jan) from 9pm at the White Swan

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