Trans Woman Brutally Murdered, So-Called “Reporter” Spits On Her Grave

ETA: Thanks to the compassionate reporting of Trudy Ring at The Advocate, we now know that the victim was known as Cemia “Ci Ci” Dove, 20 years old, from Cleveland. The Plain Dealer has since edited the offending article, removing the pronoun “he”, and added the statement: “This story has been edited since originally posted to bring it within the style recommended by the Associated Press involving transgender people.” View the original piece that caused so much hurt in the LGBT community here
Donations for Dove’s family can be made at TransOhio.


Upon confirming that a dead body recently discovered in Olmstead Township was indeed a transgender woman currently undergoing hormone therapy, Plain Dealer “reporter” John Caniglia was excited to let his readers know that the woman’s “fight for acceptance” was finally over.

Despite being fully aware that Ms. Acoff identified as a woman and was taking estrogen, John goes on to mis-gender her by using the wrong pronoun exactly eleven times in the article, as well as not-so-subtly insinuating that she was a criminal and a liar who ultimately deserved whatever happened to her. This is exactly the kind of vitriol that feeds and strengthens the hatred many people already feel for anyone outside of the gender binary. The murder rate for trans* men and women is egregiously high already (which, apparently, wasn’t important enough to mention in an article about yet another trans* woman being murdered) and anyone that uses their public platform to feed this beast bears a portion of the blame. They must be made to answer for the blood on their hands.

Now, I’m not naive enough to be surprised at seeing yet another trans* victim disrespected in the press – the few outlets reporting on this matter are all guilty of mis-gendering the victim – I am genuinely surprised at how blatant John’s contempt is. While reading this drivel that he calls “reporting”, one almost feels as if you can actually see his eyes narrowed underneath beads of sweat as he furiously hit the backspace key on sentences that weren’t nearly hateful enough for him. It really does seem as if he deliberately tried to be as degrading as possible.

Mission accomplished, John. Hey, maybe after you finish your coffee tomorrow morning, we can meet at the burial site and piss on her grave? Just in case people didn’t quite get the message.

Feel free to let John know what you think by calling him at 216-999-4097 or emailing him at; if you’re a fellow Clevelander, you can submit a letter to the editor for Plain Dealer here.

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On Being a “Downer”, or Why I Won’t Stop Giving Patriarchy the Finger Just Because You Like Hiding in Your Privilege

So, this is making the rounds on Facebook: For those who think I rant about the patriarchy and misogyny too much, authored by a lady named Julia. While a brutally honest read, it’s frustrating to realize just how many folks actually need this reminder; more maddening than frustrating – downright infuriating – when I realize that Julia almost certainly chose to share only a small fraction of her life experiences with sexism and misogyny. As, undoubtedly, did Glenna; who shared her own post with me on Facebook after being inspired by Julia.

Glenna said to me, “I think this is something every woman should do.” She’s right, of course. We don’t share these stories nearly often enough, not even (or especially not) with our male-identified loved ones. As the picture accompanying this post clearly demonstrates, so many of our men cannot even begin to fathom what it might feel like to simply be female in public.

So here’s a very small taste of that. This is not only for all the men that have ever harassed me, it’s for for all the men that I care about in my life who don’t Get It; most importantly, this is for all the women out there in the interwebz who may read this and feel a little less Alone.

To all the men in their 20’s, 30’s, 40’s (and up!) who slowed their cars when they saw (12 year old) me walking down the street to ask “Hey girl, need a ride?” or “Where’s your boyfriend, sweetie?” or “Get in, hun, I’ll take you all the way!”

To the gas station owner who wanted to sell (15 year old) me pills, and offered a discount if I would be “sweet” to him.

To the middle aged, male customers at my first job who were upset at discovering I was only the (15 year old) hostess who gave them a table, not their server for the night; who didn’t believe me when I tried to fend off their advances with a weak line like “Sorry guys, I’m married” because they could see I was “obviously too young to be married!” but not too young for them to tell me they liked my “little tits”.

To all the male teachers in middle school who would tell me how much prettier I’d be if only I would SMILE for them.


To the guy who (while sitting next to my date, his friend) reached across the table to grab my breast when asking if he could “share” me.

To the guy who was my date, who only laughed at my stunned silence.

To all the male bosses in the food industry who would tell me how much prettier I’d be if only I would SMILE for them.

To the old men in the bars where (22 year old) me used to stop at for an after-work-drink, who would immediately swarm me to tell me I shouldn’t be in a bar by myself because I was such a “pretty young thing”.

To the guy who started talking to me on the street, followed me inside the gas station, then continued to follow me down to the bar I was going to, even though I’d decided I no longer wanted to go to the bar because I was freaked the fuck out but I went anyway, because it was better than letting him follow me to my home, then told me “not to leave without him” when he went to the bathroom. To my boyfriend at the time, who laughed at me when I ran home and called him crying because it took me an hour and a half to get rid of that night’s stalker.

To the older teenage boy who, while attending a party at his house, asked my then-boyfriend permission for he and his friends to “run a train” on me. To the boyfriend who politely said “no thanks” because he “didn’t share”, instead of the more appropriate “fuck off, pig” because since nobody bothered to ask ME for MY permission, it would have been a fucking gang rape.

To the old man a week ago who, upon seeing me walking down the street with a 20 ounce of Pepsi in my hand, began hollering “Where’s my Pepsi, baby?”

To the countless men over all these years who, upon being ignored after shouting “Where’s your man, baby?!”, predictably began to cuss and swear at the “fucking bitch cunt whore dyke frigid lezzy slut” who “thinks she can fucking ignore me, bitch“.

To the old angry white male protester at the clinic where I sometimes volunteer as a patient escort; who, in between shouting slurs and condemnation at all the women who were daring to visit the doctor’s office, told my fellow (male) escort that I am “better to look at” than he.

To one of our most hated favorite regular protesters who was apparently arrested on charges of possessing child pornography last year, suggesting that he cared more about “the children” that women were “killing” than we ever suspected.

To my own father, who always supported and regularly reiterated our societies desire for woman not to be such “bitches”; who cheated on Wife#1 and Wife#2; who spent his paychecks hiring women to fuck him.

To my male (former) friend who said that if women don’t call the (inner city, corrupt, sexist, dangerously volatile)  police after being raped then obviously it wasn’t “really rape”; who also said that if a women he fucks becomes pregnant he should have the legal right to force her to carry to term because it isn’t fair that the person who actually has to do the hard work of creating a baby gets to decide whether or not to create a baby.

To the family member who, after I friended him on Facebook, verbally attacked me on my wall for “posting so much dumb women’s rights shit” and who threatened to “stab me in the uterus” if he ever sees me again.

And again, to the same family member who pelted my aunt with the same violent rhetoric and then some, calling her a “whore” after she stepped in to say “You’re out of line.”

To the male teacher who told (11 year old) me that I would “end up some fat miserable housewife having baby after baby” because I was so bad at math that I gave up on it, instead of recognizing that I needed individual attention in that particular subject while easily acing every other school subject ever put on my desk.

To my old boss at the (painfully politically correct and purposefully diverse so they could brag about it) banking office who still felt entitled to tell me HOW MUCH PRETTIER I’D BE IF ONLY I’D SMILE FOR HIM. FUCK YOU.

To the same boss who, after I decided I was fed up with using smelly and sticky chemicals to paint my face to match the other women in the office and quit wearing the socially expected amount of makeup, constantly told me how “tired” I looked. No, motherfucker, I’m not “tired”, THIS IS MY REAL FACE. Where’s YOUR goddamned lipstick and foundation, huh? Oh, right – your face and body is just fine; mine obviously needs some serious work and it’s your duty to remind me of that… every fucking week.

To the asshole who tried to blackmail me into fucking him by threatening to tell my kind-of-boyfriend at the time that we already did fuck (we didn’t) and that I was a whore, and then carried that threat through as promised.

To the gas station attendant I regularly make small talk with who asked me what I was making for dinner when he found out it was “my mans” day off. Who was genuinely confused when I asked him why he assumed *I* was making dinner.

To the convenient store owner who asked me why I was “allowed” to go to the store by myself after dark. Who was genuinely confused when I pointed out that I am 27 years old, and my deadbeat father was fucking dead anyway.

To the Nice Guy™ that I met at a Mudvayne concert, who seemed to be genuinely interested in having a real conversation, whose company I enjoyed enough to give him my contact information; who then emailed me one day to ask if I’d like to go with him to another concert… who then, after I accepted the offer, emailed me back to say “Hey, I was telling my friend about you! But how big are your tits again? I can’t remember!” and was deadpan-fucking-serious.

To every man on the street, in the grocery store, at the bus stop, at a concert, at the dentists office, and so on (and on, and on…) who stopped me in my tracks and interrupted my daily personal business to tell me to “smile!” for him. I am not your fucking clown, here to amuse you; I am not a fucking Christmas tree, here to brighten your day with pretty colors and sparkles; I am not fucking yours.

To all the men – even the self-professed “liberal dudes” – who will read this, and wonder why it bothers women that we are constantly being told to “smile, baby!” by men everywhere, even strangers.

To all the men that will be wondering why this bitch can’t take a compliment.

To all the men that will think “Gosh, someone doesn’t appreciate being attractive!”

To all the men that would, upon viewing a picture of me, think that I am really “not that great looking, after all” and “quite unremarkable, but probably still meets fuckability standards” and wonder why I don’t just “take what I can get, considering“.

To all those men above, who would be legitimately shocked and horrified if I used this blog post to delve more deeply into the abuse I’ve taken from men in my life; who would be outraged at the way I’ve been grabbed, pinched, groped, had my hair pulled, pushed, followed, choked, raped, slapped, kicked and trapped in small rooms by men whose interaction with me began by just wanting to “take me out” or “compliment” or “take care of” me; who would wonder why I stayed trapped with an abusive boyfriend for three years, who will no doubt try to mainsplain to me how I should have left sooner.

To You Guys: All of you, who will refuse to fucking understand how “Smile, baby!” plays directly into the societal narrative that allows men to excuse their physical, mental and sexual harassment and escalating abuse with “Duh, that’s just the way things are – men can’t help themselves, don’cha know!”

Yeah, guys. We’re fucking tired of it. Apologies if our intolerance of your intolerance makes your privilege a bit uncomfortable. Next time you roll your window down to shout at a woman who dares to walk down the street in public, because you think you like her legs: Stop and think instead about how many times that woman has been followed by creeps after they yelled the same shit that you’ve got sitting on the tip of your tongue.

Then, go home, get online, and Shut The Fuck Up and Listen.

Cleveland Police: Ohio Voters Protected Your Jobs…

… so how’sabout you actually DO your jobs?

As some of you may have heard, a violent hate crime took place here in Cleveland on November 19th. At the Rapid Transit stop on W. 65th & Madison, three transphobic teenagers waiting at the bottom of the stairs brutally ambushed Alison Lancaster, screaming epithets such as “fag” and “dyke” while repeatedly kicking and punching her down to the ground.

Not only was the Emergency Call Box at the station broken that night when Alison needed to call for help, the survellience cameras were also not functioning. When Alison was being treated for her injuries at Cleveland Metro Hospital, the officer that arrived to take her report of the crime was cold and nonchalant; he did not take a description of the assailants, he did not take pictures or record details of the injuries, and when filling out the police report, he asked whether the attackers used hateful language that would classify this as a hate crime and she replied yes, indeed they did – he ignored her and checked “N/A” for Not Applicable.

This crime is classified as a Hate Crime under the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
The Act authorizes the federal government to investigate and prosecute bias-motivated crimes based on the victim’s actual or perceived sexual orientation, gender, gender identity, or disability.

This officer wasn’t particularly concerned with bias, I suppose.

Besides the theft of her bag, which contained her financial information such as checkbook and debit cards as well as cell phone; Allison sustained serious injury from this attack, from black eyes to a cut on her leg that required stitches.

Since the night of the attack, the Cleveland Police Department has repeatedly blown off Alison’s attempts to encourage investigation as well as providing conflicting information for the steps she should take. Below is a brief summary of the run-around Alison has been given:

1) The police have not checked with RTA to look for the assailants on other working surveillance cameras along the route.
2) On November 20th, Alison used Tmobiles GPS tracker to discover that her stolen cell phone was being used repeatedly to make phone calls from an address on Clifton. When she called the police to advise them of this, they refused to take the information from her, much less send a car to the location to investigate.
3) She was also told on November 20th that a detective would be assigned to her case, but she must wait until Monday the 21st.
4) On Monday the 21st, she was told that the case would not be assigned to a detective; that she must wait for a detective to voluntarily take interest in the case. You can imagine the frustration this run-around would cause a victim. It took a full week for a detective to be ‘assigned’ (or not?) to the case, and Alison has not heard from Detective Hamerick despite leaving a voicemail for him.
5) As far as Cleveland RTA goes, they are dragging their feet on fixing the survellience cameras, though thankfully at least the Emergency Call Box is now in working order.
6) RTA Transit Police attempted to discourage Channel 19 today from doing their follow up report of this attack, seemingly nervous about the broken cameras being brought to the communities attention.

Considering the hard work that Ohioans put into repealing Senate Bill 5 with a NO vote on Issue 2 this year, you’d think the Cleveland Police Department would be more than eager to DO THEIR JOB. The apathetic response to such a vicious hate crime is inexcusable under ANY climate, but it strikes me as especially egregious that our public servants would so quickly forget that their duty is to protect and serve this community. The victim literally did part of their job FOR them by tracking down the stolen cell phone and providing them with a location, which COULD have led to the arrest of at least one of the thugs that attacked Alison.

At this point in time, while the Cleveland FBI Hate Crime Unit has also begun THEIR investigation, the Police Department is still officially on this case because this crime occurred in their jurisdiction and was also a robbery and theft. So it is imperative that they give this case the attention it calls for, and they have FAILED to do so.

Let’s show the CPD that the time for that ignorance and neglect is OVER, and We Are Watching.

Call the following numbers and ask the Police Department: “What are you doing to seek justice for Alison Lancaster? Why isn’t the department investigating?”

(216) 623-5000 – Michael McGrath, Cleveland Chief of Police
(216) 664-3990 – Frank Jackson, Cleveland Mayor

ALSO: Call Cleveland Rapid Transit Authority complaint line at 216-566-5227 and ask them “Why aren’t your survellience cameras at W. 65th & Madison repaired yet? What will it take for your customers safety to become a priority for you?”

Please visit the Facebook event page and invite your friends to help Alison see justice. There is also a Chip In! page for donations to help Alison cover the costs of recovery.