Cincinnati Hub




Cincinnati Police Chief Under Fire For Newsletter Condemning Religious Based Anti-LGBT Bigotry

BlackwellThe Cincinnati Police Department’s LGBT Liaison Angela Vance has come under fire for a recently published, intra-office newsletter condemning social conservatives who don’t support the queer community. Included within the 9-page newsletter were excerpts from a Huffington Post article written by Brynn Tannehill entitled “Not One More.” The piece focused on the role that homophobic, conservative religious culture played in the death of Leelah Alcorn.

Wrote Tannehill:

"If you belong to a religion that denies transgender identities and put money in the collection plate or pay your 10-percent tithe, you are bankrolling the slaughter of innocents,” the piece reads. “You can claim you love LGBT people all day, but as long as you're footing the bill for propaganda that's literally killing children, you are an accessory."

Police Chief Jeffrey Blackwell received a number of complains from Cincinnati police officers in regards to the newsletter, prompting him to get in contact with City Manager Harry Black and two police department directors. Going forward, Blackwell explained, the language within the police department’s newsletter will go through more careful editing and revision by more than one person.

"It was a mistake of the mind, not the heart," Blackwell said, stating that Officer Vance would not be penalized and that the newsletter was mostly well received. "I've apologized because our quality of life and LGBT officers answer to me. We've vowed not to make the same mistake twice."

"(Officer Vance) is an excellent officer. She has excellent human relations skills and she's very compassionate about what she does. We've addressed it accordingly. She's been verbally counseled and we've already moved past it."


Cincinnati Councilman Gives Emotional Speech in Support of LGBT Youth After Leelah Alcorn's Suicide: WATCH

Seelbach

The tragic suicide of Leelah Alcorn last week struck a nerve with Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach. As the city's first openly gay councilman, Seelbach saw Leelah's suicide as the wake up call society needed to better ensure that those who struggle with their sexuality or gender identity are loved and accepted.

Following a reading Leelah's suicide not to the council's chambers on Wednesday, Seelbach used his platform to directly address "every single lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, questioning, intersex, ally person young or old."

Alcorn1"It doesn't always get better. For many of us, it does. And it does with every single day that passes. But sometimes it doesn't. Sometimes the very people you trust, who you should trust - your parents, your pastor - they fail you. And they continue to fail you. They make life seem like it gets worse with every day, not better. And when that happens and someone tells you or you hear in some polished media campaign "It gets better," it's so easy to think "Not for me." Because that's what your truth is - it's not better. And the truth is we as a society, as a community, as a "it takes a village" have failed you. We haven't spoken up enough, challenged the beliefs of people who tell you aren't exactly the person God made you to be. Because you are. What I know for sure is that with every day, it may not feel like it gets better, but I know that you can get through it. You can survive the rejection. You can survive the pain. You can survive the isolation. You can because you're exactly who you're supposed to be. You're the person God made you to be, and you have the strength to persevere. It will not be easy. It may not get better with every day, but you can do it – I know you can. If no one seems to have faith in you, I do...you are not alone."

Listen to Seelbach's full remarks, AFTER THE JUMP...

Continue reading "Cincinnati Councilman Gives Emotional Speech in Support of LGBT Youth After Leelah Alcorn's Suicide: WATCH" »


Dan Savage: Prosecute Transgender Teen Leelah Alcorn's Parents for Abuse

Alcorn

Yesterday we reported on the tragic suicide of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen who took her own life by walking in front of a truck near her home in Cincinnati on Sunday (full story here).

Alcorn's death, suggested to be an accident by her mother Carla Wood Alcorn on Facebook, was revealed to be a suicide after a note Leelah wrote appeared on a Tumblr account. The note also detailed the issues she faced due to her parents' intolerance.

Alcorn's parents, who had taken her to a Christian therapist because she sought to begin transitioning when she turned 16, removed her from high school and confiscated her laptop after she then came out to them as gay, cutting off her contact from the rest of the world.

The story is now getting national attention and friends are speaking out about Alcorn.

DavisChris Davis, a childhood friend of Alcorn's, discusses the teen's struggles with WCPO (referring to her with a male pronoun):

“One day he finally posted on Facebook, ‘Hey, I’m coming out. This is me. This is who I am. Everybody was like, 'Yeah man, this is great.' He came to school and everyone gave him massive support. Occasionally he’d tell me, ‘Oh, I feel like I’m something else or I’m someone else,’ and wouldn’t go too far with it. I feel like it was something that was really personal to him that maybe he didn’t tell anybody about because he was nervous about it.”

Watch the interview, AFTER THE JUMP...

Others are speaking out as well. Activist and anti-bullying advocate Dan Savage is calling for Alcorn's parents to be prosecuted for abuse:

Marriage Equality Ohio is holding a vigil for Alcorn on January 3 at Kings High School in Cincinnati.

Continue reading "Dan Savage: Prosecute Transgender Teen Leelah Alcorn's Parents for Abuse" »


Candlelight Vigil Remembering Transgender Teen Leelah Alcorn Scheduled for Jan. 3

Leelah

Marriage Equality Ohio has announced they will be hosting a candlelight vigil in honor of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn who recently took her own life. The vigil we be held at 5:30 PM this Saturday, January 3rd at Kings High School, which Alcorn once attended, outside of Cincinnati. Said the group on their Facebook page:

It is time for all of us regardless of our sexual orientation to stand together to remember someone we lost. Every time I see someone claim their life, I get upset. Acceptance should not be something granted to few. Acceptance should be given to everyone, we are a diverse world of people. Join us in a night to spread ACCEPTANCE and show the world we are here, and we care, and that bullying and intolerance is UNACCEPTABLE!

As we previously reported, Leelah took her own life on Sunday morning, stepping in front of a semi truck on Interstate 71. Leelah realized she was transgender when she was 14. Though she sought support from family, she received none. She posted a haunting suicide note to her Tumblr page, imploring parents not to react negatively if their child comes out as transgender, writing, "Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say [to someone that they are wrong], especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me." For Alcorn, the situation sadly felt hopeless:

Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out. I’m sad enough already, I don’t need my life to get any worse. People say “it gets better” but that isn’t true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse. 

Alcorn ended her note with a call to action, imploring society to stop ignoring the struggles faced by trans youth:

The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say “that’s fucked up” and fix it. Fix society. Please.


Transgender Ohio Teen Leelah Alcorn's Horrifying Suicide Offers Bitter Lesson: 'We Have To Do Better'

Leelah

After posting a heartbreaking suicide note online, a transgender Ohio teen took her own life early Sunday by walking in front of a semi truck on Interstate 71 near her home outside Cincinnati.  

Leelah Alcorn (above), 17, scheduled the note to be published on her Tumblr page, LazerPrincess, after her death. She wrote that she'd felt like "a girl trapped in a boy’s body" since she was 4, but didn't know it was possible for "a boy to become a girl" until 10 years later. 

When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong. If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say that to someone, especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me.

Leelah3Alcorn wrote that her parents took her to Christian therapists who told her she was "selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help." After Alcorn's parents refused to allow her to begin transitioning when she turned 16, she decided to come out as gay — prompting them to remove her from public school and deprive her of her laptop and phone, leaving her "completely alone" for five months. 

When Alcorns' parents finally allowed her back online, she said she discovered that her friends "didn't actually give a shit about me" and "only liked me because they saw me five times a week." According to news reports, Alcorn was attending an online high school at the time of her death. 

Alcorn wrote that she decided to take her own life because she felt she would never be able to transition successfully, have enough friends or find love: 

Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out. I’m sad enough already, I don’t need my life to get any worse. People say “it gets better” but that isn’t true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse.

Alcorn concluded the note by calling for people to donate to a transgender civil rights group: 

The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say “that’s fucked up” and fix it. Fix society. Please.

LeelahArtNot surprisingly, many of the news reports about Alcorn's death have misgendered her, but Cincinnatti.com provides a glimpse of her true nature: 

Abigail Jones met Alcorn last spring when Alcorn, a talented artist, applied to work as a caricaturist at Kings Island.

Alcorn’s work was the best of any new employee. They drew caricatures of each other and a friendship took root.

“She was super bubbly and upbeat with a really brash sense of humor; she could make anyone laugh,” said Jones, 17, of Milford.

Alcorn's mother, Carla, wrote Sunday on Facebook: "My sweet 16 year old son, Joshua Ryan Alcorn went home to heaven this morning. He was out for an early morning walk and was hit by a truck. Thank you for the messages and kindness and concern you have sent our way. Please continue to keep us in your prayers." 

A representative from Kings Local Schools, which Alcorn once attended, remembered her as "a sweet, talented, tender-hearted 17-year-old," according to WCPO-TV. The school district reportedly planned a moment of silence in Alcorn's honor at basketball games this week.

SeelbachBut the most fitting tribute came from Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach (right), who wrote on Facebook

It has come to light that this person likely committed suicide because she was transgender. 

While Cincinnati led the country this past year as the first city in the mid-west to include transgender inclusive health benefits and we have included gender identity or expression as a protected class for many years....the truth is....it is still extremely difficult to be a transgender young person in this country.

We have to do better. 


Procter & Gamble Comes Out In Support Of Same-Sex Marriage - VIDEO

P&G_brands

For the first time in its history, Cincinnati-based consumer products group Procter & Gamble (P&G) is openly supporting same-sex marriage, reports Cincinnati.com.

This may not be great news for right wing anti-gay zealots. Tony Perkins, the leader of listed hate group Family Research Council, last week hinted at a possible boycott of Apple after CEO Tim Cook came out.

Procter & Gamble says that it has embraced LGBT employees for more than 20 years and same-sex marriage has become an important enough issue to its workers that it is taking a public stand.

Deborah P. Majoras, P&G's chief legal officer and executive sponsor to GABLE, the company's gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender-allied employee group, said:

"We have always supported our employees and fostered a culture of inclusion and respect – this includes the right to marry whomever they choose and to have that union legally recognized.”

William Gipson, P&G's chief global diversity officer, added that being LGBT-inclusive is “not a political statement, but a statement of support for our employees."

P&G’s announcement of its support for same-sex marriage comes a week after the city of Cincinnati won top score for inclusion by Human Rights Campaign (HRC). P&G also received a perfect score this year from HRC for its inclusion policies.

Terry Kelly, principal and investment adviser at Cincinnati-based investment management firm Bartlett, said that although P&G's latest stand could anger some consumers, the company has already weighed those risks.

Back in 2007, P&G supported the first kiss between two same-sex teenagers on soap As The World Turnswhich you can watch AFTER THE JUMP...

Back in August, advocacy group the Bilerico Project called on people to boycott P&G, the biggest television advertiser in Russia. P&G was also a Worldwide Olympic Partner and a sponsor of the controversial 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Sochi.

Continue reading "Procter & Gamble Comes Out In Support Of Same-Sex Marriage - VIDEO" »


Trending



Towleroad - Blogged