PG 13 My heart goes out to Leelah Alcorn
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For those that haven't heard, she was a 17 year old transgender girl from Ohio who committed suicide on December 28th. She wrote a letter about the awful abuses she went through with her parents, and therapists.
 "Please don’t be sad, it’s for the better. The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in… because I’m transgender. I could go into detail explaining why I feel that way, but this note is probably going to be lengthy enough as it is. 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. I never knew there was a word for that feeling, nor was it possible for a boy to become a girl, so I never told anyone and I just continued to do traditionally “boyish” things to try to fit in.

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.

My mom started taking me to a therapist, but would only take me to christian therapists, (who were all very biased) so I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression. I only got more christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help.

When I was 16 I realized that my parents would never come around, and that I would have to wait until I was 18 to start any sort of transitioning treatment, which absolutely broke my heart. The longer you wait, the harder it is to transition. I felt hopeless, that I was just going to look like a man in drag for the rest of my life. On my 16th birthday, when I didn’t receive consent from my parents to start transitioning, I cried myself to sleep."

"I’m never going to be happy... There’s no winning. There’s no way out... People say 'it gets better' but that isn’t true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse."

The only way I will rest in peace," Leelah continues, "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 fucked up' and fix it. Fix society. Please."  

She referred to the, "It gets better" campaign, and I wish someone would have been there to help her, and explain to her she was not old enough yet to see it get better. If she only pushed herself to become financially independent she could free herself from the closed mindedness of her parents, and there are many people out there who will love her, and be supportive of her. She just has to surround herself with the right kind of people who are true friends.

It's heart breaking to see her say the phrase, "The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in… because I’m transgender." This is not true, though it's reflective of how many trans people are treated in society, and they are made to feel this way because some people choose to pick on others because they are different. Being trans comes with many challenges where they can feel stressed, or depressed, and I certainly understand what can put people in the mentality to feel this way. I've felt that way as a trans person. I'm agnostic, and so I can only come at this from an agnostic position, and what I did was remind myself when I'm gone, that's possibly it. I'll never be able to experience love again, and I'll never be able able to experience the many beautiful experiences there are in life, and so I should take advantage of life while I have it. Even if there are uninformed, and close-minded people out there I can choose to ignore them, or not let their negativity effect me because it's not worth it. It's not worth letting that ruin your possibly one chance at life. Even go as far as to put yourself in the mindset to view challenges as an invigorating experience, which only makes you stronger. It's not worth it to let them make you feel bad.

Leelah is not the only trans person who goes through this. More than 50% of Transgender youth will have had at least one suicide attempt by their 20th birthday.

Though in a Swedish study in 2009 found that 95 percent of individuals who transitioned report positive life outcomes as a result.,%20Annika.pdf

Echoing Leelah, "Fix society. Please." Things need to change. Schools do need to teach about gender, and the differences between sex, and gender. Sex reassignment surgery needs to be as easily available as other surgeries are for people born with disabilities. Feel free to say randomly, "To people who pick on others for being different, that's messed up." Living in 2015, many people think this way of thinking does not exist anymore, but it does exist, and the rate of attempted suicides by LGBT youths is evidence of this. If you can be out, be out, and proud for the trans youth going through troubling times.

Leelah's last wish was to support trans organizations with all of her belongings, but given her parents close-mindedness, this seems unlikely to be honored by them. We can honor that wish though. These are LGBT organizations that you can donate to locally based in Ohio where Leelah lived:

You can sign the petition to have her correct name put on her tombstone here:

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That is sad :( I feel pain for her!

It's so sad when people, particularly young people with so much life yet to live, are persecuted for the crime of being different and take this way out.  My heart goes out to Leelah and many others like her.

I think it's worth mentioning Laura's Playground here.  It's mentioned elsewhere on this site.  It's an excellent source for the LGBT community with 24 hour chat and a focus on suicide prevention.
This is absolutely heart wrenching. It really breaks my heart to read her letter. I simply cannot fathom why any parent would do something like that to their child. I really do hope there is a heaven and wish that she finds the peace there that she so deserved in life.
Its a tragedy that Leelah killed herself because of complete lack of understanding on part of her parents.

I am never in a hurry to recommend SRS, and favor it only in cases where it is truly justified. But Leelah's parents could have dealt with her issues a lot better. They could have suggested that she try living on both sides of the gender divide, being a girl whenever she could and a man when necessary. They could have taken her to much better therapists than she unfortunately had to suffer. They could have suggested that only after all options have been explored at length, she then consider SRS.

Reverances to all who are dealing with GLBT issues,
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