PRIZM News / June 1, 2018 / By Bob Vitale
Pure Romance CEO Chris Cicchinelli gets a congratulatory hug after announcing the Living With Change Foundation in January.

The new Cincinnati foundation aims to expand treatment, educate schools, connect resources.


By Bob Vitale

Perhaps no community in America has taken Leelah Alcorn’s message to heart more than her own hometown.

Since the trans teen from suburban Cincinnati killed herself in December 2014 and posted a message to the world with the plea, “Fix society,” the number of children seeking help from Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center has soared.

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Cincinnati has banned “conversion therapy.” And in January, Pure Romance CEO Chris Cicchinelli and his wife, Jessica, announced a $2 million pledge to start the Living With Change Foundation.

It will help expand treatment, connect experts and educate everyone on trans issues.

“We’re full steam ahead,” says Cincinnati City Council member Chris Seelbach, the foundation’s executive director.

The Cicchinellis are parents of a transgender daughter who has flourished since she began transitioning. They knew that many children, though, are on waiting lists for treatment.

Seelbach says the foundation will help the hospital expand its staff. Its other major mission is training; Cincinnati Public Schools and 10 other districts already are on board.

The Living WIth Change Foundation also has scheduled a Midwest Transgender Symposium for September.


Bob Vitale
A Toledo native and graduate of Toledo Public Schools, Bob has worked as a local government and politics reporter for The Columbus Dispatch, as a Washington correspondent for Thomson Newspapers and as editor-in-chief for Outlook Ohio. He has a bachelor's degree in journalism and political science from Ball State University and a master's degree in public affairs reporting from the University of Illinois-Springfield.