In incredibly heartbreaking , 17-year-old Leelah Alcorn died
on December 28 after she was hit by a tractor trailer on a highway in
Ohio. The town is mourning the loss of the student, remembering her as
“a sweet, talented, tender-hearted 17-year-old.” Shortly after Alcorn’s death, a suicide letter appeared on her blog, where she talks about taking her life due to the fact that she was unable to openly live as a transgender woman.
Leelah, who was born “Joshua,” scheduled the post to go up after she
died. She had some of the most gut-wrenching things to say about what it
was like to live as a woman trapped in a man’s body.
One excerpt from the letter reads:
When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of
happiness. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I
immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling
me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God
doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong. If you are reading this,
parents, please don’t tell this to your kids. Even if you are
Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say that to
someone, especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate
them self. That’s exactly what it did to me.
And, in another, she says:
The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people
aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid
feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools,
the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. My death needs
to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide
this year. I want someone to look at that number and say “that’s f*cked
up” and fix it. Fix society. Please.
Leelah also left another post in which she had a few final words for some of her family and friends, including her parents, whom she never forgave.
To call this a tragedy is an understatement. It’s beyond sad and
disturbing that Leelah felt that she couldn’t live as the person she was
intended to be. Her family and friends must be completely beside
themselves right now at the fact that they’ll never see Leelah again.
Sadly, nothing is going to be able to bring Leelah back, but
hopefully her death will help other families accept their transgender
children. Hopefully, her death won’t be in vain.