Thursday, August 28, 2014

Ohio Proud

Here in the USA Heartland commonly called the Mid West we are commonly thought of as one big "gob" of territory and peeps who "happen " to exist between the elitist "right and left" coasts of the country.  When I lived around NYC years ago, many I worked with could only equate where I lived to how close it was to Texas...really?

We are used to it of course and yes live real lives with computers, electricity and indoor plumbing out here on the frontier.

To break it down for you in Ohio (where every presidential candidate seems to camp out anymore) we have the three "C's", Cincinnati, Columbus and Cleveland. As major metro areas.  Over the past decade Columbus became the most diverse in the GLBTQ arena, spurred on in no small part by The Ohio State University with it's 45,000+ students. But now, the other "two C's" are beginning to catch up.

In August, Cleveland hosted the "Gay Games" and now, the "third C" is stepping up to the plate.  I'm talking about Cincinnati and not the Reds (who haven't hit the ball much this year.). Cincy was always regarded as the backward step child of the "3-C's" for any number of reasons including the influence of Kentucky across the Ohio River to an ultra conservative powerful Catholic church.  Over the past five years or so someone woke up in Cincy and positive changes are coming fast and furious- including this one:


Medically necessary "transgender" procedures will be covered under the City of Cincinnati's health insurance starting next year.
The reason: To help Cincinnati lure citizens and workers.
"Since I've been here I've worked to make this city as competitive and inclusive as possible," said Cincinnati City Councilman Chris Seelbach, the city's first openly gay councilman. "This is a another step in that direction."
Seelbach led a council majority in signing a letter urging the change.
Cincinnati would be the first city in Ohio to offer transgender procedures in its health benefits, according to a statewide advocacy group.
Shane Morgan, founder and chair of TransOhio, which provides education and advocacy, praised city officials.
"For Cincinnati to cover their trans employees – because there are trans employees who work there – is great," Morgan said. "Hopefully cities elsewhere in Ohio will follow that."

Shane Morgan is right.  We are good for business, it's getting the narrow minded bible beaters and bigots around this state to realize it- is the tough task.  In the smaller towns like I live in, you only need to follow the money to why change is slow.  Everyone, being a business person, preacher-or whatever just wants to protect their little pile of sand.

Usually they do it under the guise of "protecting" the kids or God.  So sad.


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A Life in Gender Flux