Anti-LGBT fliers encouraging members of the queer community to commit suicide were posted on Cleveland State University’s campus yesterday, the same day the school opened an LGBT center there.
The flier features an illustration of a man with a rope tied around his neck. It gives statistics of what it claims are suicide rates among the LGBT community. It also says in bold letters, “Follow your fellow faggots.”
Eris Eady of the LGBT Center of Greater Cleveland told NewsNet5, “The coercion of someone attempting to take their own life, there is no humor in that. There will never be humor in that. There is nothing funny about death.”
He also pointed out that “the statistics on the flier are incorrect, and that the suicide rate in the LGBT community is sadly higher.”
“It is a cowardly thing to do, since they didn’t put their face on it,” said another person on campus reacting to the flier. “What they are exactly looking for is to encourage someone else to put their face on it.”
Though the posters are credited to “Fascist Solutions,” there does not seem to be an organization with that name online.
CSU President Ron Berkman issued a statement:
At Cleveland State University, our foremost priority is maintaining a welcoming environment that provide opportunities for learning, expression and discourse.
CSU remains fully committed to a campus community that respects all individuals, regardless of age, race, color, religion, national origin, sexual orientation and other historical bases for discrimination.
CSU also is committed to upholding the First Amendment, even with regard to controversial issues where opinion is divided. We will continue to protect free speech to ensure all voices may be heard and to promote a civil discourse where educational growth is the desired result.
Be assured that a spirit of inclusiveness will always be central to the very identity of our University.
Tristan Radar who posted the anti-LGBT fliers on Facebook, responded to the President’s statement saying, “Nope… CSU you are wrong!! This is NOT the time to get on your soapbox about free speech. This is the time to fight bigotry of the worst order. So far you are failing… Now, stand the hell up for your LGBTQ+ students and students of color!”