Dedicated to Leelah Alcorn
At first I thought to label this episode “Happy New Year” but with the recent trans suicide of Leelah Alcorn an Ohio transgender teen, I figured it would be best to honor her. Leelah committed suicide after abuse from her community and parents in pursuing her own transgender identity. She was forced to go to “reparative therapy” (Planet Transgender) or more commonly referred to as “conversion therapy” which:
Is a range of treatments that aim to change sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual, or to convince a transgender person to give up the gender they identify as and instead identify with the sex and gender they were assigned at birth (Wikipedia).
Here is an excerpt of her suicide note:
If you are reading this, it means that I have committed suicide and obviously failed to delete this post from my queue.
Please don’t be sad, it’s for the better. The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in… because I’m transgender. I could go into detail explaining why I feel that way, but this note is probably going to be lengthy enough as it is. To put it simply, I feel like a girl trapped in a boy’s body, and I’ve felt that way ever since I was 4. I never knew there was a word for that feeling, nor was it possible for a boy to become a girl, so I never told anyone and I just continued to do traditionally “boyish” things to try to fit in (Facebook).
As a result there is now a petition to ban transgender conversion therapy on Change.org, please go here to sign the petition.
Leelah wasn’t simply killed in an accident, but that it was the reaction from her family, and the torment that they put her through that pushed her to step in front of that truck. Forced into isolation by being denied access to her friends, to social media and being made to go to Christian counsellors that told her she was wrong and selfish pushed her to do what she did (Planet Transgender).
Please also sign the petition to correct her headstone to reflect her name and gender here.