Maryann Finegan Anti-Violence Project

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The Maryann Finegan Anti-Violence Project (also called the Maryann Finegan Project and Maryann Finegan Anti-Gay Violence Project), was an LGBTQ+ violence prevention program created in 1989 by LGBT Community Center founder Aubrey Wertheim. Wertheim created the Maryann Finegan Anti-Violence Project to “track and fight” violence, hate crimes, and harassment against LGBTQ+ Clevelanders. The program was named in memory of Mary Ann Finegan, the lesbian victim of an anti-LGBTQ+ hate crime and murder. In 1982, Mary Ann Finegan and her partner were abducted outside of Isis, a lesbian women’s bar. Finegan was subsequently murdered in her car at a secondary location in the Flats district. Finegan’s murder remained unsolved at the time the Maryann Finnegan Anti-Violence Project formed in 1989.

The Maryann Finegan Anti-Violence Project operated with an all-volunteer staff at the LGBT Community Center of Greater Cleveland‘s West 29th St. location . The anti-violence program focused on providing advocacy, resources, and assistance for victims of anti-LGBTQ+ hate crimes, violence, and harassment. Project volunteers tracked and reported statistics regarding hate crimes against LGBTQ+ community members in Cleveland. Volunteers also engaged in educational and political outreach campaigns to raise awareness and combat violence against LGBTQ+ community members in Cleveland. The Maryann Finegan Anti-Violence Project ceased operating in 1994 after the LGBT Community Center could no longer provide the staff, resources, and funding necessary to maintain the program.

Plain Dealer. December 7, 1990.

Additional information coming soon.

Resources

  • “Anti-Gay Violence Project Suspended by Center.” Gay People’s Chronicle. May 6, 1994. Page 3.
  • “Cleveland Anti-Gay Hate Crimes Rise 60 Percent.” Gay People’s Chronicle. October 1, 1993. Page 2.
  • Glaser, Chris. “Chapter 11: Mary Ann Finegan.” Purple Armadillos: The Intellects, Entrepreneurs and Oddballs of Northeast Ohio’s LGBT Community in the 19th and 20th Centuries. June 21, 2010.
  • Glassman, Anthony. “A Generation of News.” Gay People’s Chronicle. February 4, 2005. Page 4.
  • Hagan, John F. “Project to Assist Gay Victims of Assault.” Plain Dealer. December 7, 1990.
  • Harris, Patti. “After 28 Years, Mary Ann Finegan Case is Solved.” Gay People’s Chronicle. February 26, 2010. Page 1-2.
  • Laycock, Robert. “Maryann Finegan Project.” Gay People’s Chronicle. October 1990. Page 8.
  • Negron, Sidney. “Maryann Finegan Project.” Encyclopedia of Cleveland History. April 5, 2022.
1418 W. 29th St., Cleveland, OH 44113 (LGBT Community Center, former location).

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