Local drag performer Aaron Losey died at the Fitton Center for Creative Arts in Hamilton on Saturday after a performance.
Per a statement from the Fitton Center, Losey — who performed under the name Tyese Rainz — died following a “medical episode.” The center went on to write that Rainz's performance received a standing ovation that night.
In a tragic turn of events, it appears Saturday was also Losey's birthday, with happy birthday posts appearing on Losey's public Facebook timeline just before the flood of friends, family and many in Cincinnati’s LGBTQ+ community shared their sadness at Losey’s passing.
“We'll its time for me to post about the loss of a great human being this world has lost, My heart breaks to say that we lost this amazing person Aaron Losey was family/friend to me, he was my husband Clarissa Rae-Rainz drag mother he was my husbands best friend, this ANGEL slept on our couch the night before (Friday),” a post from Facebook user Herschel Cooper reads.
“Aaron Losey, My dear friend....it doesn't seem real. I was just reminiscing when I passed your old house in Forest Park just a few days ago. You will be truly missed. I am so thankful and honored that I got to be a small part of your big world. I had the pleasure of watching you grow into such an amazing person. You always accepted people for who they were and didn't judge a soul. You had an infectious personality bigger than life and the heart to go with it. Neither of us had dates to senior prom so we went as besties! I don't quite know too many people that could be such a diva AND a perfect gentleman! I wouldn't have changed a single thing! I love you with my whole heart! Sending thoughts and prayers to his family and loved ones during such a difficult time,” a post from Facebook user Sara Lewis reads.
"Aaron Losey was an incredible person that left us way too soon. I’m going to miss her sharp wit, her cackle, and the words of wisdom/encouragement she gave me for the last 8 years. She gave me my start and taught me everything I know about hosting, and more importantly she made me feel like family during our time on cast together. I hope to one day be half as talented, charismatic, kind, and captivating as Tyese was. Cincinnati has lost an icon," a post from Facebook user Tara Newone reads.
At this time, it is unknown what the medical episode was or what caused it.
On May 11, Tillie's Lounge in Northside will host a fundraiser for Losey, with tips and donations going to help cover funeral expenses. The event description reads: "Aaron has just switched to a new job and the insurance had not kicked in yet. We need to do what he has done for so many, help raise money to bury him." Get details at Facebook.com.
Over-the-Rhine bar e19 is also hosting a fundraising drag show on May 12 in honor of Losey. The description reads, "All tips raised by the entertainers will be donated to Tyese’s family to help with her final expenses." Get details on Facebook.com.