NASSAU, BAHAMAS — After grabbing the spotlight on an international reality show, a Bahamian drag queen has received local backlash for sharing her story of survival from a homophobic attack in The Bahamas.
Anastarzia Anaquay is among 11 other drag queens competing for the title of Canada’s First Drag Superstar and a $100,000 grand prize.
The show is a spinoff from RuPaul’s DragRace, which airs on VH1 and Netflix, and premiered on July 2 on Crave.
In the second episode of the series, the veteran drag queen opens up about her start in the business and her experiences with homophobia in The Bahamas — revealing that she was once shot.
“Unlike other countries like the United States and Canada, it wasn’t accepted at all,” Anastarzia said.
“I’m talking about I’ve had so many friends murdered and shot in the face as they’re opening their front doors.”
Anastarzia recalled the night she was shot in Nassau on July 4th 2013, telling her season costars that men approached her car and just started shooting as she pulled into her home driveway after work.
She said she sustained gunshot wounds in her arm, chest, and stomach and had to drive herself to the hospital.
After having to learn how to breathe and walk again, she said she claimed asylum in Canada.
Bahamians responded on social media over the weekend as the clip of Anastarzia sharing her story began to circulate.
Many people supported her journey, offering words of encouragement and well wishes.
However, some Bahamians attacked and berated the drag queen for spreading what they termed “misinformation”.
Detractors insisted that her claims were false, furthering that she had negatively portrayed the country by insinuating that it is an intolerant society.
Some even went as far as to say that homophobia did not exist in The Bahamas.
Yesterday, Anastarzia posted a death threat the she received.
The message read: “If he comes back home drag queening, he will be shot again. The Bible says put them to death, not my words.”
In a response to the backlash and threats, Anastarzia posted: “I survived but over the years, they didn’t: “Thaddeus McDonald, Kevin Williams, Chad, Wellington Adderley, DaVince Smith, Indera, Marvin Wilson, Harl Taylor, Paul Whyly, Shavardo Simmons, LaTory Mackey, Elkin Moss, Jamal. Yet, Bahamians are saying my story is fake.”
The names listed were high profile murder cases throughout the country believed to be members of the LGBTQ community.
She continued: “Just because you may not be homophobic, doesn’t mean homophobia doesn’t exist in the country. Just because you didn’t pull the trigger doesn’t mean these people weren’t murdered. Just because you may not be aware of the situation, doesn’t mean it didn’t happen.
“Just because you are angry, that doesn’t make my narrative any less true. Acting out of ignorance is no longer an excuse for the behavior being displayed.”
Anastarzia has won more than 15 pageants including Miss Canada International, Miss Gay Toronto, and is the reigning Miss Black Continental at large.
“Being on drag race is the culmination of an amazing 17-year career,” Anastarzia said.
“It allows me to represent all the little black boys and girls in third world countries like The Bahamas that have huge dreams but no resources to make them a reality.”