Old Town Lansing Times Staff Reporter
The Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender (LGBT) community has been a big part of Old Town’s rich history and the acceptance of it is a big reason why those within the neighborhood and visitors feel a close-knit, family-like bond. Acceptance is in Old Town’s fabric. The tolerance for those that identify as LGBT can be seen as a symbol of the openness Old Town has for people of all colors, backgrounds, gender, sexual orientation, and beliefs. Maintaining the ability to express yourself and feeling welcome at all times is a huge part of the Old Town fabric. General Manager of Spiral Dance Bar, Sam Courtney, says it’s important for Old Town businesses to promote a welcoming and a tolerant message.
The fatal shooting of a man on November 10, 2011 outside of The Loft in downtown Lansing raises questions about an apparent link between violence and the local bar scene, raising questions about whether Old Town has reason to worry about similar incidents.
The police have named the man in question for shooting and killing 35-year-old Ygnacio “Notch” Bermudez Jr. According to the Lansing State Journal, a felony warrant has been issued for Richard Anthony Strong. This incident of violence is a concern from the community as it raises concerns about public safety and security around nightlife. Old Town has a few bars and clubs of its own, including the most prominent, Spiral Dance Bar. Known for its gay friendly environment, the club holds lots of events, drawing in a diverse crowd.