Grassroots women’s group Red Wine & Blue wants you to vote like lives depend on it — because they do: Leslie Kouba

Oct 11, 2022

I didn’t expect to see the big camera and boom mic at the “LGBTQ+ & You: Advocates, Allies, & Candidates” event hosted by Red Wine & Blue last Sunday at Cleveland’s LGBT Center. Found out one of CNN’s documentary teams was there to record Ember, and her mom, Minna, two of the speakers that day.

Ember and Minna have become the face of trans youth who want to play sports in school. Ember’s story is personal, powerful, and – by her own decision – public. She told us, “If I don’t speak up, who will?” I urge you to know her story.

Speaking up is not the easiest thing to do. Ever. Anywhere. By anyone. Ember’s family has lost their privacy and weekends at home, as they show up wherever their story is needed. The women of RWB show up, too.

Marla Zwinggi and Missy McGuinness, RWB Northeast Ohio Organizers, were the emcees for the event. I had met Zwinggi at a Geauga Pride event, but you might recognize her as one of Northeast Ohio’s Vaccine Queens. (She and Stacey Bene heroically worked to track down and schedule elusive Covid-19 vaccines for thousands of Ohioans at the height of the pandemic.)


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