Local photographer launches Pride Month photo series called “Proud to Be Me”
Open to people in the LGBTQ+ community for a discounted price; portion of proceeds goes to The Trevor Project
TOLEDO, Ohio (WTVG) - A local photographer is using her time and talent to help spread pride among the LGBTQ+ community. Tylar Thomas owns TCTPhotography. Throughout the entire month of June, she will be offering discounted photo sessions as part of her project called “Proud to Be Me.” The series will feature different people that identify as part of the LGBTQ+ community. 10% of all proceeds made during these photo sessions will go back to The Trevor Project, a national organization that aims to help LGBTQ+ in times of crisis. “We really just try to find a way to help others be proud of who they are, because I grew up not being really proud of myself,” explained Thomas. “So it was tough, and I knew I wanted to help others, in the best way I can.”
One of her more recent clients was the Hillier family -- Robert, Shelby and Serenity. Robert Hillier is transgender, but also one of the first people to complete a transition at University Hospitals in Cleveland. He says he feels safe, and wants to share his story with the world. The photo series is helping him do that. “This is what I worked hard for,” said Hillier. “This is what I dreamed for myself back in high school, is this beautiful little family right here of mine... it’s just a dream come true at this point.” According to Hillier, the Cleveland hospital is the only full transitioning hospital between New York and Chicago. He believes more work needs to be done for not just transgender in Ohio, but for all LGBTQ+. His dream is to open gender care clinics throughout Ohio to specialize in those who feel neglected.
Thomas says people like Hillier and his family are what Pride Month is all about. “No matter who you are, no matter what you like, how you dress, who you like, what you wear -- just showcase love and be proud of who you are.”
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