Cleveland Plain Dealer to meet with local trans advocates after GLAAD outreach

Following a series of stories that mis-gendered and dehumanized a transgender murder victim in Cleveland, the Plain Dealer newspaper has agreed to meet with local transgender advocates.

Yesterday GLAAD was in touch with the paper throughout the day, as well as Equality Ohio, TransOhio and Cleveland's LGBT Community Center to address the coverage of Cemia Acoff, who was found dead earlier this month.

The Plain Dealer was the source of two highly problematic stories, titled "Brutal slaying marks the end of Cleveland man's fight for acceptance" and "Oddly dressed body found in Olmsted Township pond identified" (The latter had been previously said "Oddly dressed man.")

The paper addressed the mis-gendering by removing pronouns altogether, and removed some of the more sensationalized aspects of the pieces.

The Cleveland Plain Dealer will meet with local transgender advocates and community members to better understand the sensitivity that was missing from its reporting, the way both the New York Times and Los Angeles Times did following similarly insensitive stories.

The Plain Dealer is not the only source of insensitive coverage.  We have heard reports that one of the hosts of "Lanigan and Malone" on radio station WMJI made a joke about Ce Ce's murder, saying (during a segment on a new line of bras for men) "Well, the next time I find myself in a pond in Olmstead Township..."

This is completely unacceptable, and we are reaching out to the station to demand that action be taken.

Thank you to all of you who have alerted us to these incidents either by reporting through our website or on social media. Please continue to do so if you see any future coverage with similar issues.

Information about a vigil taking place in Cleveland in remembrance of Cemia here.

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