The Jenner Dog: Simple Transgender Humor or Bad Taste?

The community that gave America the lead plaintiff in the gay marriage case that will be heard before the U.S. Supreme Court this week is also home to the latest controversy to arise in the wake of Bruce Jenner’s gender transition.

The Senate Pub, a Cincinnati landmark, is being criticized for putting the Bruce Jenner 2.0 hot dog — part hot dog and part taco, sprinkled with cheese — on its menu.

“As much as I love the Senate team, the description of their ‘Bruce Jenner’ hot dog of the day made me cringe a little,” said Chris Seelbach, the first openly gay politician elected to the Cincinnati City Council.

Here’s what makes the Senate Pub’s decision to put the Bruce Jenner 2.0 hot dog on its menu more than a little cringe-worthy. Cincinnati is not only the home of Jim Obergefell, the lead plaintiff in the Supreme Court case that could wreck Ohio’s ban on gay marriage, but Leelah Alcorn also called suburban Cincinnati home.

Alcorn is the transgendered teen whose suicide focused the nation’s media spotlight on the problems faced by people who believe they are trapped in the wrong gender.

Alcorn was forced into “transition therapy” by her parents. Leelah Alcorn, or Joshua Ryan Alcorn as she was named by her parents, wrote in her suicide note she felt "like a girl trapped in a boy's body" since she was four. Alcorn became aware of the term “transgendered” when she was 14 and told her parents that she was really a girl.

Alcorn said her mother reacted "extremely negatively" and said it was only a phase because God had made her a male, so she could never be a woman.

“I understand that Senate’s daily hot dogs are supposed to poke fun at celebrities, but given that Bruce Jenner is possibly coming out as transgender tonight, and knowing how difficult that is, as seen with the suicide of Leelah Alcorn, I’m not sure I would have gone with that description,” Seelbach also told WCPO-TV in Cincinnati.