by Jessica Carreras
James Eaton Tyler is an equal mix of activist and event planner. The 29-year-old Ferndale resident owns REALLY LOUD, LLC, an event planning, marketing and promotions business that hosts many of the city’s hippest LGBT events. But the events also raise money for good causes, such as the Pride Banquet Fund and the American Cancer Society.
1. How did you get involved with event planning?
I became involved with event planning after several of my friends suggested that I could contribute to the community by connecting the gay bar/club community and the non-profit community.
The opportunity to give back and support the various organizations that are important to the community intrigued me. I began to develop relationships with local business owners and non-profit organization leaders. It has been very time-consuming and stressful at times, but has also been rewarding in many ways. The events I have been involved with have been a lot of fun and created some excitement in the bar community as well as raised some much-needed funds for the non-profit community as well.
2. Your college coursework is in political science – are you still interested in that?
Until this current semester, I had been pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Political Science at Oakland University, but I decided to pursue my dream to own my own business. I put my academic career at Oakland University on hold, and am currently enrolled full-time at Oakland Community College, focused on business courses. I look forward to continuing to pursue a bachelor’s degree in the future, although having changed my major, I am undecided as to what university I will attend in that pursuit. As of now, I am enjoying the learning experience of growing a new business while also continuing my education in courses that apply to that effort.
3. What do you like about working for the bar and club scene?
The best part of working with multiple businesses in the local LGBT community is spending time with so many great friends. I also really enjoy helping develop and improve relationships between businesses in an effort to unite and strengthen the community overall. Communication and cooperation between several businesses has greatly improved and I firmly believe that the future of the businesses and organizations in the community depends on continuing to improve communications and cooperation between all LGBT-operated and LGBT-friendly businesses and organizations.
4. How do you think what you do serves the wants/needs of the LGBT community?
I believe that the future is what we make of it. I have a vision of a stronger, more united LGBT community here in southeast Michigan and I will continue to work toward making that vision a reality. I would like more members of the community to become involved and focused on developing new ideas and building a brighter future of the LGBT community here in Michigan. I would also like to continue to advance the causes and goals of the community by improving communications and cooperation between the businesses and organizations that serve the community.
5. What are some of the events you have coming up?
There are two upcoming events I am involved with. The first is at The New Menjo’s Complex on March 13. Starting that day, in cooperation the American Cancer Society, Menjo’s Complex will offer a smoke-free, clean-air environment on Saturday nights from 9 p.m. until close. The event will feature music from DJ Doug Roberts and a fresh fruit bar including drinks such as Sangria, margaritas and daiquiris. “Smokeless Saturdays” will also feature scented candles, fresh flowers and white tablecloths in place of ashtrays. A portion of the proceeds from the door will benefit the American Cancer Society.
The outdoor patio will be open to smokers while the indoors will remain smoke-free on Saturday nights until May 1, when all bars and restaurants will be affected by the new law banning indoor smoking. The “Smokeless Saturdays” Dance Party at The New Menjo’s Complex is the only smoke-free gay bar event on a Saturday night in Michigan.
On March 17 at Club 9 in Ferndale, the First Annual St. Patrick’s Day Pride Festival will begin at noon and continue all day and all night until 2 a.m. The doors of Club 9 will be open to the entire LGBT community free of charge until 9 p.m., and will feature the traditional green drinks and St. Patrick’s Day food, as well as music and entertainment provided by various local DJs and performers.
Wanna get loud? Visit http://www.facebook.com/REALLYLOUD for upcoming event info.