Leelah Alcorn

An icon to the transgender community

There are quite a lot of reasons to explain why one would give up on life. Moreover, there are even more reasons as to why someone from the LGBT youth community would attempt suicide. On the 28th of December 2015, Leelah Alcorn's death not only was a grenade that gave rise to a new wave of awareness in modern society, but also left a powerful message that will continue to spread and inspire people to make a change. As to leave a permanent pattern before leaving, Leelah published on her Tumblr account (a website on which she was very active) a suicide note explaining the hardships that she had to go through during her life with controlling and mind-abusing parents. In the said letter, the 17 year-old girl admitted that she didn't felt like she was put in the right body since the age of four but hadn't shared a word about it until she confronted her mother at the age of fourteen. The events that followed turned her life into a cocktail of visits at Christian-biased therapies and mental abuse (by her mom in particular), which in the end lead her to lose grip on her dreams of a future where she would feel loved and accepted: ‘’People say "it gets better" but that isn't true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse. That's the gist of it, that's why I feel like killing myself. Sorry if that's not a good enough reason for you, it's good enough for me.’’

Leelah Alcorn said to have always been accepted as a transgender by her friends whether they were from school or online, which shows that parents alone have an enormous power over the psychological state of their child. In this case, Leelah was tortured an abused to the point where she couldn't fight her own battle despite the support of the people who were close to her - and perhaps not close enough. Following the event of her death, the suicide note on Tumblr was shared by millions of people to raise awareness around the world. It shows that there is place for a lot of improvement so as to make people, and especially families with gay or transgender children, understand that justice is lacking. It is important for society to understand that the members of the LGBT community do not need therapies or a brainwash but open-minded people who will support them and see them as their equal.

MLA Sources:

Corcoran, Kieran. ''EXCLUSIVE: How best friend of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn 'was kept from her funeral after furious parents accused her of sharing dress selfie with the world'.'' Mail Online. Associated Newspapers Ltd, 13 Jan. 2015. Web. 28 April 2015.

Fox, Fallon. ''Leelah Alcorn’s Suicide: Conversion Therapy Is Child Abuse.'' Time.

TIME Ideas, 8 Jan. 2015. Web. 28 April 2015.

Helling, Steve. ''Suicide of Transgender Teen Leelah Alcorn Sparks Emotional Debate.'' People. Online and In Print, 2 Jan. 2015. Web. 28 April 2015.

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