Author of LGBTQ Cleveland & LGBTQ Columbus Tackles Cincinnati

Local author/comedian/podcast host/Baldwin Wallace University professor Ken Schneck has posted some sad news and some happy news.

Last April, he was appointed editor of the Columbus-based LGBTQ magazine Prizm, the only such publication left in Ohio, distributed statewide. Its February is was it last print edition, and the March/April edition will be its final digital one. Here’s his farewell letter: prizmnews/an-editors-farewell/

But Schneck will be kept busy whenever the quarantine ends, because he’s about to drop a new book, a companion to his previous volumes, LGBTQ Cleveland and LGBTQ Columbus.

The new book, LGBTQ Cincinnati, should be of interest, even to those who’ve never set foot in that city, given its backdrop of sexual conservatism that’s being swept away as the city becomes more and more progressive. It’s famously the city that shut down strip clubs and banned men’s magazines (they moved across the river to Kentucky) and indicted Cincinnati Contemporary Arts Center director (and later Rock Hall executive director) Dennis Barrie over a showing of homoerotic photos by art photographer Robert Mapplethorpe in 1990.

But there’s much more! It’s the home base of Citizens for Community Values, formerly headed by thrice-married, self-admitted porn addict Phil Burress, an organization dedicated to battling pornography, strip clubs and same-sex marriage. And it’s a city that famously repealed a pair of laws that protected gay people from discrimination in the 1990s, rights, which were restored in 2006 and expanded to include transgender people.

The book features more than 150 images that tell the story of the transformation of Cincinnati from prudish backwater to open-minded progressive city. The book comes out in June but it can be pre-ordered now, and Schneck will very likely be doing a bunch of book events once things start to happen again.

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