Leelah Alcorn is Deeply Missed

Recently there has been an outrage within the LGBT community: the unfortunate death of one of their own, Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender girl who tragically took her life on Dec. 28, 2014 in Lebanon, Ohio. This suicide has opened the eyes of people around the world to what a young person’s home situation can truly drive someone to do.
Alcorn, born Joshua Ryan Alcorn has been living her life in the shell of the son her parents wanted. Shrouded by this false identity forced upon her by her parents caused severe depression and internal struggles for Leelah’s entire life. In her suicide note, she said that the majority of the depression that surrounded her was mainly from her unsupportive and over religious family.
The Alcorns are a highly conservative family, so finding out that their son wanted to become their daughter was highly unacceptable. They put her through Christian conversion therapy to try and change the way she felt about herself. They made her dress like a boy and male pronouns when referring to her. Even after she died they referred to her as their “16-year-old son who was tragically hit by a car” instead of their “17-year-old daughter who committed suicide by vehicular impact”.
To me, this level of disrespect from a parent to their child is outrageous. Why a parent would go to such extremes to get what they want instead of allowing their child to have what they need is awful.
This story hits home for me really hard because my best friend is a transgender male. If a situation like this was happening to him, I don’t know how I would be able to handle it. Seeing a complete stranger go through such a hard life for nearly their whole life is difficult enough, but if I had to be a witness of that happening to my best friend, not being able to help would be torture.
So many people could have reached out to Leelah, helping her through the struggles that she had to bea, but no one did. Society needs to examine this loss and grasp the fact that this is only one case out of hundreds. Yes, the loss of this beautiful girl has affected us, but we can take this tragedy and make sure it won’t happen to anyone else. Society may take a while to get to the level of acceptance the LGBT community needs, but one day we will get there and everyone can be happy being the person they were born to be.