Leelah Alcorn, 17, made the decision to end her life on Sunday
. She made her way to I-71 near Cincinnati and threw herself in front of a semi-truck. She felt that there was no other way.
In her suicide note, Leelah explained why she did what she did.
“The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in…because I’m transgender.”
She goes on to explain, “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.”
Leelah wasn’t accepted by her family as Leelah; she was told that she was wrong in who she was. She was dragged to Christian therapists, otherwise known as conversion therapy, who simply told her to look to God and He would change her. She was taken from school, from her friends and placed into isolation in an effort to change her. In her suicide note
, Leelah said her mother told her God doesn’t make mistakes, and she was not a girl, she was a boy.
No. Leelah wasn’t a boy. Leelah was a beautiful, 17 year old girl who was made as God wanted her to be made.
Imagine going through a life where no one accepts you for who you are. That’s the life Leelah lived and that’s the life that many transgendered people live. In fact, according to research, the National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force say that more than 41 percent of transgendered people have attempted suicide. That is 41 percent too many.
Leelah Alcorn wanted her death to mean something. It does. It means that we are talking about this. It means other transgendered youth know there are other people out there who are like them. It means that someone out there is realizing that just because you don’t understand something, it doesn’t mean it’s wrong.
Leelah Alcorn wanted to belong. She wanted to be accepted for who she is. She wanted a safe place and safe community. She wanted to fix society, and I want to help her do that.
I encourage you to think about Leelah today, if only for a minute. If you feel compelled, a family member of mine has started a fund
to raise money for transgendered groups in Leelah’s honor. This is our time to act, our time to make a change and our time to truly make Leelah Alcorn’s death mean something. Are you with me?
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