Cincinnati official speaks out for LGBT youth after transgender teen’s death

Chris Seelbach

Chris Seelbach

CINCINNATI — Cincinnati’s first openly gay councilman has used a council speech to offer support to youth who are struggling with their sexual orientation or gender identity.

Chris Seelbach

Chris Seelbach

Chris Seelbach has been speaking out following the recent suicide of Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender girl.

The Cincinnati Enquirer reports that Seelbach gave an emotional nine-minute speech Wednesday to close the 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 early Dec. 28. Seelbach says others with feelings of isolation or mistreatment like those expressed in the post should know that they can survive rejection and pain and that he has faith in them.

Holding back tears, Seelbach said in part to the LGBTQ community:

“The truth is, we as a society have failed you. What I know for sure is that with every day, it may not feel like it gets better, but I know that you can get through it. You can survive the rejection. You can survive the pain. You can survive the isolation. You can because you’re exactly who you’re supposed to be. You’re the person God made you to be, and you have the strength to persevere. It will not be easy. It may not get better with every day, but you can do it – I know you can. If no one seems to have faith in you, I do. […]

“You are not alone. … You can live. You can live. You can live.”

Associated Press contributed to this report.

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