After she was fired by the sheriff for being a lesbian she ran for his office and won in a landslide
via Lesbian News / Twitter

Sheriff Jim Neil, 61, and officer Charmaine McGuffey, 62, have known each other for a long time. They both attended the same high school in Cincinnati. They went to the same criminal justice program at University of Cincinnati, and both work at the Hamilton County Sheriff's Office.

Neil was eventually elected sheriff and McGuffey was promoted to Major in Command of jail and court services.

In 2017, Neil fired McGuffey although their reasons for the termination differ. McGuffey claims it happened because she raised concerns over abuse of force by fellow officers and the fact she's an openly gay woman.


Neil claims he fired McGuffey for creating a hostile work environment. The lawsuit is still pending in federal court.

"The current sheriff and I got into a pretty serious disagreement about the practice of him not holding officers accountable for use of force and harassment of women, female officers, and female inmates," McGuffey told LGBTQ Nation.

"He fired me. So after about a year or so of contemplating, I decided I can do a better job than him," she continued. So she ran against him to be the Democratic nominee for Hamilton County Sheriff.

Both candidates are Democrats, however, Neil upset many in his party for appearing on stage with Donald Trump at a 2016 campaign rally. He later provided a sorry-not-sorry for his actions.

"It was selfish on my part because I didn't take into consideration the other candidates on the Democratic ballot that are going to be running with me because this could not just impact my votes, but it could impact the votes on anyone on the Democratic ballot. I want to apologize for my actions," Neil said according to Cincinnati.com.

"I've been a police officer since 1981," he added. "I was elected as sheriff in 2012. I'm still performing as a peace officer. I'm not comfortable in the skin of a politician. What you get with Jim Neil is what you get. I'm a public servant… public safety is my priority."

During the election, Neil was asked whether he acknowledged the disparities in how people of different races were treated in the criminal justice system.

"Sheriff Neil would only respond that he is color blind," Britt Born, a Democratic Party leader said.

"Quite frankly, my opponent has pretended to be a Democrat for many years now, when he's actually much more aligned with the Tea Party Republicans. He tells people what they want to hear and then doesn't follow through," McGuffey said.

In the Democratic primary held Tuesday, McGuffey beat Neil in a landslide. With about three-fourths of the final vote in, she has a 70% lead over Neil.

"[My election] would mean that our country is moving forward," she said before election day, "that we really have moved away from the 1950s model of law enforcement, where not just women are embraced in the law enforcement world, but also LGBTQ members of the community can wear a uniform and be quite successful."

McGuffey will face Republican nominee Bruce Hoffbauer in November and is expected to win.

Courtesy of Back on My Feet
True

Having graduated in the top 10% of Reserve Officer Training Corp (ROTC) cadets nationwide in 2012, Pat Robinson was ready to take on a career in the Air Force full speed ahead.

Despite her stellar performance in the classroom and training grounds, Robinson feared other habits she'd picked up at Ohio University had sent her down the wrong tracks.

First stationed near Panama City, Florida, Robinson became reliant on alcohol while serving as an air battle manager student. After barnstorming through Atlanta's nightclubs on New Year's Eve, Robinson failed a drug test and lied to her commanding officer about the results.

Eleven months later, she was dismissed. Feeling ashamed and directionless, Robinson briefly returned home to Cleveland before venturing west to look for work in San Francisco.

After a brief stint working at a paint store, Robinson found herself without a source of income and was relegated to living in her car. Robinson's garbage can soon became littered with parking tickets and her car was towed. Golden Gate Park's cool grass soon replaced her bed.

"My substance abuse spiraled very quickly," Robinson said. "You name it, I probably used it. Very quickly I contracted HIV and Hepatitis C. I was arrested again and again and was finally charged and sentenced to substance abuse treatment."

Keep Reading Show less

As I was doomscrolling through Twitter yesterday, the wording of an Associated Press post caught my eye. "The Supreme Court will allow absentee ballots in North Carolina to be received and counted up to 9 days after Election Day, in a win for Democrats," it read.

A win for Democrats? Surely they meant a win for Americans? For voters? For democracy?


Keep Reading Show less
Photo courtesy of Claudia Romo Edelman
True

When the novel coronavirus hit the United States, life as we knew it quickly changed. As many people holed up in their homes, some essential workers had to make the impossible choice of going to work or quitting their jobs— a choice they continue to make each day.

Because over 80 percent of working Hispanic adults provide essential services for the U.S. economy, the Hispanic community is disproportionately affected. Hispanic families are also much more likely to live in multigenerational households, carrying the extra risk of infecting the most vulnerable. In fact, Hispanics are 20 times more likely than other patients to test positive for COVID-19.

Claudia Romo Edelman saw a community in desperate need of guidance and support. And she created Hispanic Star, a non-profit designed to help Hispanic people in the U.S. pull together as a proud, unified group and overcome barriers — the most pressing of which is the effects of the pandemic.

Because the Hispanic community is so diverse, unification is, and was, an enormous challenge.

Photo credit: Hispanic Star

Keep Reading Show less

Electing Donald Trump to be president of the United States set an incredibly ugly example for the nation's youth.

We know how it's affected the national discourse of regular adults. But there's no denying the conduct of a president impacts how children around the world see the example being set for them. Every day for the past four years, children have been subjected to the behavior of a divisive figure that many of their parents chose to exalt to the most powerful office in the world.

Sure, adults can make excuses for him saying he's an "imperfect messenger" or that they "didn't vote for him to be reverend," but these are all just ways to rationalize voting for a man with zero character. What a message to send to children: Act awful and you'll be handsomely rewarded.

But what if you took away the "Trump" name and examined the character traits of him as an ordinary person? More specifically, what if your daughter came to you and said this was the kind of person she was planning to date? Well, one MAGA family found out and the results are funny, insightful and quite revealing about how we somehow hold our leaders to different and lower standards than we expect from ourselves in our day to day lives.

Keep Reading Show less

After years of advocating for racial justice and calling out police brutality and seeing little change in law enforcement and our justice system, some people are rightfully fed up. When complaints are met with inaction, protests are met with inaction, and direct action is met with inaction, maybe it's time to get specific in who needs to be held accountable for issues in law enforcement.

That's exactly what Keiajah (KJ) Brooks did at a Board of Police Commissioners meeting in her hometown of Kansas City this week. The 20-year-old used her approximately four minutes with the microphone—and with the commissioners' undivided attention—to unequivocally lay out her position to each and every one of the officials in that room.

"Fair warning, I'm not nice and I don't seek to be respectable," she began. "I'm not asking y'all for anything because y'all can't and won't be both my savior and my oppressor. I don't want reform. I want to turn this building into luxury low-cost housing. These would make some really nice apartments."

"Firstly, stop using Black children as photo opportunities, 'cause they're cute now, but in 10 years, they're Black male suspects in red shirts and khaki shorts," she said. "Eating cookies and drinking milk with children does not absolve you of your complicity in their oppression and denigration..." she added, before looking directly at the police chief and pointedly calling him out by name, "...Rick Smith."

Keep Reading Show less