All Don and Carla Alcorn wanted was a ‘perfect little somewhat straight Christian boy’. This probably would have been so if nature conspired with them. The problem though, is that their perfect little boy was transgender but they were not ready to admit it. Because they did not support their teen child in the battle with conflicts of identity, Leelah Alcorn saw suicide as the only way out. It is sadder that the heart wrenching suicide note she left hoping would steer other parents in the right direction, is also missing from the blogging site, Tumblr.
In the note, Leelah accused both her parents of according her no support, making her life miserable and even demanding that she lead her life as Joshua, the son they hoped. In the note, the teen said her life was not worth living because she was a transgender person. She recounts how her mother reacted negatively when she informed her she was transgender. At some point, her parents said, ‘that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong.’
She used the note to advice other parents from telling their transgender children such words regardless of their religious affiliations. Saying such words to children she reckons, only make the victims hate themselves. Her parents’ decision to reign on Tumblr to take the post down has not deterred supporters from gathering to honor her in candlelight vigils. These vigils have been conducted in both her home state Ohio and other places. Even her funeral service was shifted from the scheduled church in Cincinnati and conducted as a small affair in a funeral home due to fears that the service would be disrupted.
In line with her nature and wishes, the LGBT community has launched a petition that seeks to have Leelah appear in her tombstone instead of Joshua. The petition has garnered more than 80,000 signatures. Activists are doing this to honor her struggle all the while hoping that the lessons learned will get people to start looking at transgender people as normal individuals and work on a fair society that Leelah advocated.
In the note, Leelah blamed her parents for denying her right to access treatment. She says that instead, they took her to see ‘biased’ Christina therapists. Carla Alcorn, Leelah’s mother confirmed this in an interview where she admitted to not supporting her daughter despite loving her unconditionally. She even used male pronouns when referring to Leelah in the interview saying that according to the family religion, they do not believe in the transgender concept.
Leelah summed her note with a call to action hoping that the tragedy of her death will bring forth meaningful change for the transgender community. She also left her money and material wealth to trans support groups and civil rights movement. She added that she would only rest in peace if she knows that transgender people are treated humanely as normal people are. She died hoping that gender will be taken seriously, even taught in schools.