Article by Kamilla Jamal
Photo compiled by Matthew Seet
In the wee hours of the morning on Sunday, December 28, 17 year old transgender Leelah Alcorn from Ohio decided to take her life by stepping in front of a truck after walking along a highway. Although born Joshua Ryan Alcorn, Leelah has felt like a “girl trapped in a boy’s body” ever since she was four years old and has since sought acceptance for her gender identity– something her parents had denied her. Repeated rejections from her parents was one of the main reasons for her taking her life, as cited in a Tumblr note she scheduled for release after her suicide. Additionally, she cites the misery from being forced into isolation and faith-based therapy by her parents. “There’s no winning,” the note reads. “There’s no way out.”
While the original note has been taken down as per the request of her parents, it can be found here.
Fortunately, after the virality of Alcorn’s Tumblr post, a number of celebrities shared their grief via Twitter:
Not only this, but the creator of “Transparent”, Jill Soloway, dedicated her Golden Globe to Alcorn:
Despite Leelah’s request that we should not be sad, as a society we should be sad. This tragedy was one that was avoidable. Leelah is gone but will never be forgotten – she is now yet another symbol of the unspeakable and often silent suffering of so many young people, LGBTQ, and otherwise.
Leelah’s story is important and needs to be a lesson for society – to love everyone, no matter what.