Tygra Slarlii-Bartletts


Omaha, NE

TYGRA : “ I know for a lot of trans girls it’s hard to get yourself out there because you’re afraid of being attacked and I was afraid of that, but after a month I was like screw it, I’m just going to do me, that’s just my personality. If you don’t like me- you just won’t talk to me. That’s kind of how I work my social life.

I love my Omaha community, love them to death, but they’re not trans friendly, and the thing is, Omaha has a really big trans community. Everyone here is “kinda” loving just depending on who you decide to talk to and be friends with. There’s a lot of division in the LGBT community, and we don’t need that!

I’m also a people watcher, I like to sit back and just watch. It kind of sucks when you’re a drag queen though because everyone wants to talk to you! I sat back at pride this year and cried for the first time because I’ve been part of this community for five years and previous years were full of fights, people falling off things, people bickering and arguing and this one was the first one where I didn’t see any drama what so ever.

After Orland people realized “Oh, we really need to love each other.” It’s sad that it took forty-nine people to lose their lives for people to wake up and be like “Let me love you instead of hate you.” It’s very sad and it speaks volumes for your integrity as a human if that’s what it actually took for you to stop and be like “Why are we fighting each other?”

I’ve been to Pulse many times so I know exactly how the community is, I know exactly how people were going to be affected. I had friends there that night and I lost two of my friends. It’s still hard to deal with. Losing someone, especially in this time, you start to realize that every day is not counting as much as you think it’s going to.

The shooting has been revealing; I don’t think just for me but for our entire community. I think that even though we’re losing a big part of our family it’s given us a push to fight for the things that we need to protect in our communities, ourselves, families, and Americans in general. There has been something like three mass shootings that have happened since Pulse. The incidents weren’t targeted at the LGBT community but still. Three!

It’s an eye-opener because, hey, we’re not as protected as we thought we were, you don’t have that safety net that you thought you had.

So, this is our time to have a voice. I enjoy talking about our issues, especially to my allies, I can talk to the LGBT community until I am blue in the face but the people who really are going help us push for these laws and are going be our voices out there are going to be our allies. The people I do hair for and do make up for, the people who come to our festivities and have a great time, these are the people whose voices we need to hear because those are the people whose voices, not to say that ours don’t matter, but their voices matter more than ours, why? Because they’re straight. They are hetero. That’s not fair but I’m sorry, that’s the consensus that I get. Cause I’ve gone through committees of the house where I have talked and I’ve seen my friends talk but we just get swept under the rug. Get somebody who’s not non-conforming like us up there to speak I bet you they are going to be heard ten times better.

I work as a nurse so I spend most of my time at the hospital. If I’m not there I’m at the dance studio because I’m a dance instructor as well. As a nurse, the residents always know how you feel before you ever open your mouth, always. When I worked in the ICU there were patients who were far worse off than I was and they would be like: “Why are you sad today?” I’m like, “You shouldn’t be asking me that question. I should be asking you that question!” When you see people every day whether they die or live or are just coming in for a checkup being positive for those people will turn a life around. When I would go in upset, I would make my patients upset. I would make the doctors and residents I worked with upset and feel down and bad for me because I had this big shadow. I realized I had a need to be active outside of work and that made me happy.

Every morning I find a positive quote and I post it on my Facebook. I would like to post a picture of my cats but in the morning they are hard to find! I start my day with something that’s going to make me happy so I can pass it on to someone else and I would rather pass on light than darkness, that’s where I find my balance. ”