On May 19, the Maritime Museum of the Atlantic had a new visitor it wanted everyone to meet. Its name was Hello Sailor and it came all the way across the Atlantic to greet us. The exhibition, which originated in Liverpool, chronicles the lives of queer individuals on the seas, from the military to ocean liners. The Halifax edition of the exhibit had a distinctly Nova Scotian flair to it, including interviews with sailors and mariners from the region.
Yesterday was the last day of the exhibit. Bryson Syliboy was one of the interview subjects involved in the Halifax edition, which includes anecdotes and photos of the young mariner. Syliboy, who has sailed on tall ships such as the Bluenose II and the True North, dreams of one day having his own tall ship.
Down East caught up with Bryson as the exhibit was winding down.
What was it like to contribute to this exhibition?
It was great to contribute to the Hello Sailor exhibit. I thought it was a neat idea, and having visited many maritime museums all over North America, I thought it was a very original idea to incorporate into an exhibit. I though it was going to be more controversial than it actually was, but I found that it was welcomed with open arms.
Has anyone recognized you from the exhibit?
A lot of people have recognized me. It’s funny: they usually say, ‘Hey, I just seen you at the museum!’ Then it takes me a few seconds to realize that I have a static display up at the museum.
Has contributing to the show made you think of your time on the sea in a different manner?
It has made me think about my time at sea. How carefree and amazing the whole experience was. I got to see and do a lot of unique things. It made me realize how much I have done in my life and what I want to do with the rest of my life. I am excited to be going back to sea soon, looking forward to exploring the world. My time at sea when I was younger was such a great experience and it shaped me into the man that I am today. The dangerous aspects of being at sea opened up my eyes and made me realize how precious life is and how it is so easy to have that life taken away from you. Above all, it made me love the moments that I am with my family and friends, because you never know when the next time you will be able to see them again.