LIMA — Tyra Brooks, a transgender performer, activist and bartender at Somewhere, Lima’s premier gay bar for 38 years, started the transition from male to female at the age of 18.
“I started by doing shows and that kind of gave me the ‘in’ as far as knowing how to put myself together and to do things the way I needed to do to make me presentable (as a female),” said Brooks who was one of the performers at the Lima Pride event at Somewhere.
“Within every transgender person they have their own journey and they have their own battle and they have their own strife they have to go through, however, it does get better and I think that with every individual they have own story that needs to be told,” said Brooks.
The Lima Pride event, the first-ever held at Somewhere, was organized by Shelby Prichard, the head bartender at Somewhere.
The event included a talent show Friday night, a cookout and plenty of entertainment on Saturday. Proceeds go to help BRAVO, the Buckeye Region Anti-Violence Organization.
“It’s a branch of Equitas Health. It is to support the LGBT community. They kind of have two different fields of what they do. The first is providing free healthcare screenings and sexual screenings to the gay community. The other thing, the anti-violence part of it, they reach out and help victims of sexual violence, abuse, stalking, domestic violence, harassment or any type of hate crime,” said Prichard.
With a Republican in the White House, many of the strides concerning LGBT issues made during the last administration have eroded away.
“The trend is in reducing our rights, not in gaining more rights so depending on how long this man is in office I think it will depend on how many rights we will lose. Frankly, I can’t imagine or fathom four more years of him,” said Tom Ritchie, owner of Somewhere.
Lima’s support of the LGBT community is apparently getting better.
“I do not think (Lima) is as welcoming as I’m accustomed to because I recently moved back home from Cincinnati and Columbus, however, I do see that there is a progression and tolerance and acceptance within the community and I think that we’re on the right path,” said Brooks.
Reach Sam Shriver at 567-242-0409.