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.
From AddictingInfo.com

Carl-Acoff

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 jcaniglia@plaind.com; if you’re a fellow Clevelander, you can submit a letter to the editor for Plain Dealer here.

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Prevention First! Round 2

The petition to demand reasonable and swift action against misinformation in sexual education programs and lack of preventative care for survivors of assault has been re-launched. Instead of Change.org, this one is hosted on SignOn.org in the hopes that we get some promotion from the progressive action group MoveOn.org. Both bills are currently stuck in committee, and this petition not only targets all Ohio legislators to take action, it also sends separate individual email alerts to the House and Senate Committee Chairs in an effort to get these bills to the floor for a vote.

This isn’t the first time that these Prevention First bills have been introduced, as Sen. Turner and Rep. Antonio discuss in this February interview. In the past, Prevention was left to languish in committee without ever even receiving a vote. Considering the “concern” our Republican controlled legislature has demonstrated about our lady-parts, you’d think they’d be ecstatically enthusiastic about legislation that would not only reduce the number of Ohio’s unintended pregnancies (thereby reducing abortion) but would save taxpayers money in a time of economic hardship. It’s common knowledge now that every dollar invested in helping women avoid unintended pregnancies saves $3.74 in Medicaid expenditures, that otherwise would have been used for maternity care.

In order to hold our elected officials accountable, in order to force them to do their jobs of representing the best interest of Ohio residents, we need to push them. The Compassionate Assistance for Rape Emergencies Act (SB 283/HB 419) and The Act for Our Children’s Future (SB 232/HB 338) will forever languish in committee if our officials feel they can get away with ignoring the needs of those most vulnerable in our society: our youth and our survivors of assault.

Please add your signature now, share this petition on your social networking accounts, and consider placing a phone call to the Committee Chairs, whose names can be found at the petition site. Or just use your zip code to find your Legislators, and give them a call.

Ohio deserves a fair shot at Prevention.

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Have you registered for the upcoming Lobby Day this Wednesday? NARAL Pro-Choice Ohio and Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio are working together to combat the War on Women!

If you can’t make it, don’t worry – you can still help Ohio women access their constitutional right to reproductive care by donating to the Cleveland Pro-Choice Escorts bowling team HERE.

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.

Activism, YAY! What YOU Can Do This Month In Ohio

The following is a list of various on-the-ground activities* that you and your fellow activists can join to make a difference in the month of September. Tomorrow, I’ll be at the Planned Parenthood rally passing out awesome pink t-shirts, and I’ll have a “We’ve Had Enough!” sign for anyone that would like to add their picture to our Facebook album. Please sign up, pass around, and hopefully I’ll see you there!

*If you know of an event that is not on this list, please comment and let me know so I can add it. The events are centered in Cleveland and Columbus, and I just know that there must be more in other areas I haven’t heard about; I’d like this blog to center on statewide events and issues rather than only those near my own residence. Suggestions for October are also welcome, as I’d like to make a similar list at the beginning of the month.

September 17

Raise Your Hand Rally 2011: Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio
When? 1:30pm – 3:00pm
Where? Cleveland Health Center, 7997 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH
What? Join Planned Parenthood of Northeast Ohio and our supporters September 17, 2011 for the Raise Your Hand Rally at the Planned Parenthood Cleveland Health Center. Students, supporters, and Planned Parenthood Federation of America president, Cecile Richards, will all be speaking at the event; as well as Nicke J. Antonio. They will address the countless attacks on reproductive justice and families in Ohio and why they “raise their hand” in support of Planned Parenthood and their services. (Nickie J. Antonio will also be having an informal meeting before the rally, for location and time please email me: weheohio[at]gmail[dot]com)
RSVP? On Facebook; On Web

Lads and Lasses 2: A Drag and Scag Fundraiser
When? 8:00pm – 11:00pm
Where? AIDS Taskforce of Greater Cleveland, 3210 Euclid Avenue, Cleveland, OH
What? Your $5 donation at the door will directly benefit the agency, along with proceeds from the wine bar and tips for the performers. Hosted by Ms. Toni Simmons, and with a performance by special guest, The Cleveland Kings and Girls (CKG), this is one evening you do NOT want to miss!
RSVP? On Facebook

September 20

NARAL Ohio & OHLA Trust Women Suffragette Protest
When? 11:00am – 2:00pm
Where? Downtown Columbus, 3rd Street, side of the Statehouse
What? Join us at the Statehouse to make sure that the Ohio Senate knows we are watching and tell them to NOT take up the ridiculous “Heartbeat” bill!
RSVP? On Facebook; info@prochoiceohio.org

GetEQUAL’s Day of Discontent
When? 3:00pm – 6:00pm
Where? Downtown Columbus, Statehouse, 3rd & Broad
What? Join us in urging legislators to not rest on this one piece of our equality BUT rather CONTINUE to legislate in favor of making us FULL AMERICAN CITIZENS. Come out and take a stand with us! WE NEED YOUR TO HELP MAKE A DIFFERENCE. Numbers matter!
RSVP? On Facebook

September 21

Day Two: NARAL Ohio & OHLA Trust Women Suffragette Protest
When? 11:00am – 2:00pm
Where? Downtown Columbus, 3rd Street, side of the Statehouse
What? Join us at the Statehouse to make sure that the Ohio Senate knows we are watching and tell them to NOT take up the ridiculous “Heartbeat” bill!
RSVP? On Facebook; info@prochoiceohio.org

September 27

Equal Housing and Employment Act (EHEA) Rally, Press Conference & Lobby Day
When? 1:30 – 2:30
Where? Statehouse, Columbus, OH
What? Ohio State Representatives Ross McGregor and Nickie Antonio will introduce EHEA in the House. EHEA prohibits discrimination in housing, employment and public accommodations on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity. Take the opportunity on September 27th to visit your State Senator and State Representative to ask them to support EHEA.
RSVP? On Facebook

*JUST ADDED*

OHLA: the Ohio Lady Advocates will be having their first meeting at YSU!
When? 4:00pm – 5:00pm
Where? Bresnahan III (down the hall at the rear entrance of Kilcawley Center), Kilcawley Center, YSU
What? We’re looking for young women and men who are interested in getting involved with actions that target local and state issues that threaten women’s, and men’s, access to quality, affordable healthcare options. We’ll discuss upcoming events, current projects/issues, and much, much more. Please invite your friends! These issues are especially important to college students, so come join us!
RSVP? On Facebook

October 2

First Annual Non-Violence Parade and Rally
When? 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Where? Lincoln Ave., Youngstown, OH
What? Ohio Lady Advocates will be participating in Youngstown’s first ever Non-Violence parade in celebration of Non-Violence Week (Oct. 2-8). The parade is open to all nonprofit organizations such as youth groups, athletic teams, church groups, neighborhood watch groups as well as businesses and government officials and politicians. We will start on Lincoln Ave. in front of the new YSU business school and proceed downtown. March with us in the parade and shout with us at the rally to help us wipe out violence!
RSVP? On Facebook

Ongoing

Repeal Senate Bill 5
What? Register new voters; Distribute Absentee Ballot Request Applications because these forms will NOT be mailed to voters automatically this year; Canvass or Phone Bank to converse with the community about the importance of voting NO on Issue 2 in order to STOP SB5.
Contact? Fight For A Fair Economy or We Are Ohio

Stop House Bill 194, The Voter Suppression Law
What? HB194 would severely limit early voting by mail, prohibit poll workers from assisting voters in completing forms, and make it more difficult for early voters to access in-person locations during evening hours and Sundays. We are currently collecting petition signatures to get a citizen’s VETO onto the 2012 ballot, and the deadline to STOP this law from affecting the 2011 elections is September 28.
Contact? Fair Elections Ohio for a signing event in your area or to collect signatures yourself.