Cincinnati (AP) – The city’s first openly gay councilman is offering his support to youth who are struggling with being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.
Chris Seelbach has been speaking out following the apparent suicide of a 17-year-old transgender girl in southwest Ohio. Leelah Alcorn’s death has drawn global attention and added to concerns about suicide among transgender youths.
The Cincinnati Enquirer reported in Jan. 9 editions that Seelbach gave an emotional nine-minute speech Jan. 7 at the City Council’s first 2015 meeting.
Seelbach read a social media post attributed to Alcorn, who was killed by a truck while on foot on Interstate 71 on Dec. 28. Seelbach said others with feelings of isolation or mistreatment like those expressed in the post should know that they can survive rejection and pain.
“You can because you’re exactly who you’re supposed to be,” Seelbach said. “You’re the person God made you to be, and you have the strength to persevere. … If no one seems to have faith in you, I do.”
Seelbach concluded: “You are not alone. … You can live.”
Another in a series of vigils to remember Alcorn is planned for Saturday evening in Cincinnati.