Out With Cancer letter to ACS regarding Homophobia

By on Tuesday, April 27th, 2010

John R. Seffrin, PhD
Chief Executive Officer
American Cancer Society

Dear Dr. Seffrin:

I write to you today with the hope of getting a greater understanding about why The American Cancer Society’s Pinellas County branch canceled an LGBT-focused Relay For Life that was scheduled for March 21, 2010.  As described by the event’s organizer, Bobby Poth, American Cancer Society officials “ were worried about how the general public would react to an LGBT-targeted event [and] allowed personal beliefs to play a role in that fear, etc.”

Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender cancer survivors, their friends, family and care givers, deserve complete and unfettered support by all of us, including the American Cancer Society. Homophobia is vile and life threatening, particularly to those who are vulnerable because of ongoing health care treatment.   Out With Cancer – The LGBT Cancer Project is our country’s first and leading LGBT cancer survivor support and advocacy national nonprofit organization.  We know that prejudice hurts LGBT cancer survivors, diminishing access to appropriate health care, elevating psycho-social stressors and reducing research into LGBT health care disparities.  To see our country’s largest cancer survivor nonprofit, the American Cancer Society give in to homophobia, is harmful to all of us.

I look forward to your reply on this issue.  Thank you for your consideration.

Darryl Mitteldorf, LCSW
Executive Director
Out With Cancer – The LGBT Cancer Project

Categories : Advocacy


  1. Kelly Woodring says:

    I agree !! , Darryl,

    Cancer is NOT discriminatory, BUT, AN EQUAL OPPORTUNITY DISEASE, afflicting anyone and everyone, if one is susceptible to it.

    I for one will NEVER support ACS again, but will seek other means, locally, if necessary to give support to those in need.

    I am a three (3) time Ca survivor and pray I NEVER have to fight it again.

    Thank you, again, Darryl, for standing up the the ACS and prejudices!

    Kelly in Denver

  2. Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by prostatenews: Out With Cancer’s letter to ACS regarding ACS homophobia http://tinyurl.com/26zpzqy

  3. Sammy Ott says:

    If only more than 24 people would hear about this.

  4. JohnH says:

    They discriminate against atheist groups as well. It’s kind of a shame, and troubling. Does anyone know of them actually refusing to help the cancer victims of various minority groups … not just not recognising doners on that basis?

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