(Update-2, Erasure begins) Conservative Christian parents triggers suicide of transgender teen

doug carla wood alcornLEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS — Update-2 – Jan. 2, 2015 — The erasure of the life of Leelah has begun. From Gay Star News: “The erasure of every trace of Leelah Alcorn’s short life online continued today with the apparent removal, from Tumblr, of her ‘satan’s wifey’ account.  . . . Those searching for Leelah’s account are now greeted by a standard Tumblr ‘not found’ page, which states: ‘There’s nothing here. Whatever you were looking for doesn’t currently exist at this address.” 

While we’re not sure whether Tumblr is behind the deletion of Leelah’s account or if it was action taken by the family, it’s an ominous sign of how easy it is to wipe out a trans person’s existence. Fortunately a number of people have saved some of the contents of her account. I’ve added a screen shot of Leelah’s suicide note as well as her apology note to this article (scroll down).

——

Update – Dec. 31, 2014 — Leelah’s mother, Carla Alcorn, speaks with CNN: When Ohio teenager Josh Alcorn told his parents he wanted to live as a girl, that he felt trapped in his own body, his parents said they wouldn’t stand for that.

“We don’t support that, religiously,” his mother told CNN Wednesday, her voice breaking. “But we told him that we loved him unconditionally. We loved him no matter what. I loved my son. People need to know that I loved him. He was a good kid, a good boy.”

——–

Loved him unconditionally? I see what Leelah meant when she said her parents were ‘messed up’.

On the upside, this story is getting a lot of national press.

——–

Original article Dec. 30, 2014: After forced Christian-based therapy, being taken out of school, banned from social media and denied a request to transition, Leelah Alcorn told her parents (in a suicide note on tumblr): “Fuck you. You can’t just control other people like that. That’s messed up” and stepped into freeway traffic near Kings Mill, Ohio.

Utterly predictable. And the stats back that up.  Conservative Christians, you are a major contributor to trans suicide.

After looking through Leelah’s social media site, her suicide note and other news reports, it struck me that it was all about appearances for Leelah’s parents. They were far more concerned about how they looked within their Christian community than to try to understand their child. They were non-parents.

Unconfirmed documents floating around on the internet points toward the whitewashing of Leelah’s suicide by her parents. Although they’ve made no official public comment, they’ve made a request for privacy through the school district.

Privacy? no, they don’t deserve privacy — full national media attention should be drawn to their selfish mistake. With any luck at all, it’ll save the lives of a few other trans kids elsewhere.

Update: Wiki identifies the parents as Doug and Carla Alcorn.

Stats on transgender suicide: https://lexiecannes.com/stats-on-transgender-discrimination-violence-and-suicide/

Leelah Alcorn’s tumblr page [Trigger Warning]:  lazerprincess.tumblr.com

http://www.rollingstone.com/culture/news/read-17yearold-trans-girls-heartbreaking-suicide-note-20141230

CNN interview with Carla Alcorn: http://www.cnn.com/2014/12/31/us/ohio-transgender-teen-suicide/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Tumblr account deleted: http://www.gaystarnews.com/article/evidence-leelah-alcorns-short-life-removed-tumblr020115

Leelah Alcorn joshdoug carla wood alcorncarla douglas kent alcornleelah alcorn suicide noteleelah alcorn sorry

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LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS is associated with Wipe Out Transphobia: http://www.wipeouttransphobia.com/

Read Lexie Cannes in The Huffington Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/courtney-odonnell/

 



Categories: Deaths, Murder, Transgender, Transsexual, Trans

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

38 replies

  1. Hey, the “DEATH BY EXTREME CHRISTIANITY” meme picture here used the image of the wrong person. The person pictured there is Emmy. Leelah reblogged that picture. It’s not of her.

  2. It IS a meme, isn’t it? An ugly, horribly cruel meme when fucked-up parents abandon their responsibilities to raise a child to his/her best potential. Fundamental Christianity has a huge problem with potentials: it doesn’t like them at all. Either you toe the line, swallow the dogma hook, line and sinker or you’re one of the “enemy.” No wonder Leelah took her own life. How could ANYONE live in that militarized zone of her own home?

    Seventeen years old. Just a little longer and she could have moved out and done what she needed to do. I hope no one reads the comments section in the RS article. Very triggery. The trolls and vultures are out in force. Horrible human beings, much like Leelah’s parents; barely human, in fact.

    This one makes me very depressed, Lexie. We lost a good kid. Worse: some subhuman monsters are gloating about it. It makes me wish we could track them down and …never mind. Violence only begets more violence. If we’re going to win this war, we have to be better than that.

    I’ve had some allies–who never seem to read articles like this, nor the comments that usually accompany them–tell me not to worry, in a few years, this won’t be a problem anymore. I. Don’t. Think. So. (I try not to interact with allies like that anymore. They aren’t really allies, are they?) I fear this will be a never-ending problem and the very children we need to continue this war are taking their lives at an alarming rate. If this keeps up, there won’t be any of us left to fight!

    What could any of us have done to intervene? What could we say? What could we possibly have done to save this child? I am all out of ideas. Education doesn’t work if the subhumans don’t want to be educated. Patience isn’t a virtue when I read comments like those. All the fine rhetoric and carefully considered arguments are worthless in this case. Role models like Janet Mock and Laverne Cox certainly didn’t impact this at all. How could any of us been able to tell Leelah that it gets better? It does, but only if you have superhuman strength. I know I often lack the strength which is the major reason I stay home a lot.

    Damn it to hell and back. Now I have something else to keep me awake at night, staring at the ceiling and wondering what to do.

    • Thanks for the comment Michelle! I sent you mail via LinkedIn. 🙂

    • Listen you must understand that Christianity does not preach these principles you have listed, it is a terrible thing that the teen made that decision but it is no reason to throw a whole community under the bus. There is only one enemy in Christianity and that is Satan if any other Christian tells you otherwise they are also wrong. The Bible teaches that everyone is equal no matter what and that God loves everyone equally. What the parents said was wrong to say to a emotionally distressed teenager and should have given complete support instead of trying to dictate their child’s life, it’s what their religion tells them to do. The Bible literally says that we are all perfectly made in God’s eyes and that whatever happens is part of the plan, so I don’t understand what you mean by problems with potential in Christianity…

  3. These parents are disgusting. Jesus loves unconditionally. These parents should be strung up. I can’t believe putting what other people think ahead of loving your child and trying to help them find a way out of their pain. But I don’t doubt it because my own mother was the same way. I am a lesbian and tried to destroy myself until I finally came out at 40. Shame on the Alcorns. They don’t have the slightest idea of what it means to be a Christian. They remind me of the people who go to church to show off. Disgusting. …..

  4. The things people do in the name of Christ makes for a distressing history of human folly. Sadly these terrible parents will in all likelihood blame Satan than spend a single moment of introspection on their horrific parenting and how their total lack of true & unconditional love negatively impacted their own child. This couple represents all that is wrong with the “Christian” right. They are ignorant, cruel & foolish and celebrate their ignorance, cruelty & foolishness. Fuck their request for privacy, this needs to be posted all over the web, TV, & newspapers. Don’t let another poor trans child die in vain.

  5. Might I suggest a slightly different approach. reach out to them with the compassion of a sympathy card that clearly makes known your own gender orientation and that you are so saddened that their ignorant prejudice caused the untimely death of their daughter. Hugs, Ava

    • this was the best I could do for a pm to the mother, not perfect but it was the best I could write under these emotions

      “hi Carla! peace be with you always especially now that you have lost Joshua,your child!

      your son wanting to be more female in appearance and behaving as / being treated as a girl/woman has to be upsetting, so I wish you god speed with recovering from losing your child, in the near future tragedies of death related to genderqueer people will stop.
      gender expectations destroy lives. god now will allow Joshua be who god wanted Joshua to be: loved unconditionally, treated as an imperfect human but certainly as one of gods creatures.

      your childs name will be remembered as yet another un-needed suicide based on society not changing its mind.

      anyone god loves everyone equally, I do hope you will also learn through all of this that someone’s gender or sex is not more important than someone’s personality and don’t feel guilty for too long because we all make mistakes, I also hope your other kids and kids around you accept your faults of not havingcared enough to make sure jJoshua felt comfortable amongst their loving family to be themselves, their true selves.

      I have patience for you to learn and grow from this and hopefully evolve from christian to practicing christian.

      I forgive you and love you through the eyes of god, pity that humans are blind mostly to gods love.

      when Jesus comes back, and he will, I am sure he will embrace you and help you work through your emotions so that you may never act like god again with telling someone what normal and abnormal are!

      god blessed you with Joshua, god bless you now from me

      I’m glad Joshua was happy in themselves just not happy in society.

      r.I.p Joshua, may all their siblings be at peace too, knowing they did a great job being family.

      its so sad to see a loss of a perfectly normal person due to gender misunderstandings

      sincerely Gavan coleman /peaceandparty”

      Today at 00:59

  6. The things people do in the name of Christ makes for a distressing history of human folly. Sadly these terrible parents will in all likelihood blame “Satan” rather than spend a single moment of introspection on their horrific parenting and how their total lack of true and unconditional love negatively impacted their own child. This couple represents all that is wrong with the “Christian” right. They are ignorant, cruel and foolish. Further, they celebrate their ignorance, cruelty, and foolishness. Damn their request for privacy, this needs to be posted all over the web, TV, and newspapers. Let us not let another poor trans child die in vain.

  7. We REALLY need “safe houses” for trans children (and adults). We need so badly to form a true Alliance, free of the HRC and it’s inherent limitations. Often, trans people are left out of the HRC’s agenda. We heed to each kick in some money. We need a leader. We need a central fund. We need staff. We need outreach. We need sponsors. And we must be willing to become politically involved in what is becoming a yearly misery celebrated by one day of mourning. I mourn every day for this kind of insanity. I am ready. Who else is ready?

    • I would love to help. I would host someone in a heartbeat. Are there people out there doing this? I have hosted international students, and I’ve always had a desire to be a foster parent. ..I guess it would be very similar. Seems like the hardest part would be finding the kids that need help…plus the legality of it, but whatever. If it would save lives…that’s what matters.

      • I’m thinking that your state children services division would like to hear from you. If the state is progressive enough they’ll see the wisdom of matching a trans kid with someone who wants to care for one. You can also contact a trans youth advocacy group for further insight. A group that I know to do good work on behalf of trans kids is TransActive. Good luck.

    • Jessica and 79rios79 — there are some networks in place. They are mostly underground. Had the parents not taken away Leelah’s computer and phone, she might have been able to connect with someone. Although, her letter does make it sound like she did not have a solid support network. In Detroit, near where I live, for instance, there is the Ruth Ellis House. It’s just one house and it isn’t nearly enough.

      I keep one bedroom in my apartment clean and ready, just in case. It gets cold here and the shelters won’t take in trans people.

      I know I’m not addressing the real issue, just don’t want this particular discussion to end without some kind of resolution.

  8. Thanks for the comments. All good comments. Expression of frustration understood.

  9. I’m so sad and so angry over this. How can people like these parents say they “know” Jesus? Wether you believe in him or not, the Bible says he ACCEPTED everyone as they were. The only people he rejected were religious hypocrites. Sad and ironic, isn’t it?

    May she rest in peace.

  10. It’s no secret — the one thing that works better than anything else in preventing suicide among adolescents, especially trans teens, is love. It’s really that simple. If you love your kid, show it — don’t just say it. Respect your trans children, make sure your trans children know they are accepted, visible, viable, and valuable. It is not a secret. Parents who do not know this need to learn this, and if that means holding these parents up as examples, then at least their actions will have some value to someone, even if it wasn’t their own child.

  11. People need to find the churches and ministers, that propagate trans hate(and gay hate) and picket and shame them. This would be a good action in front of the Alcorns’ church especially, if it is found that trans hate has been promoted from the pulpit or by word of the church leader.

  12. I think those so-called “parents” should be charged with first degree murder. I also feel that we need to start an “underground railroad” of sorts for transgender people, including transgender kids in need, especially those who might be murdered by their parents as Leelah was. We need to get safe houses in place.

  13. These parents need to be criminally charged for denying their child medical treatment for Gender Dysphoria. This is no joke…it caused a sister her life. As a Christian, I can assure you that her parents are more Satan-like than Christ like.

  14. So who is to blame for the death of Josh “Leela” Alcorn? Parents who loved him and wanted the best for him, even if that mean disagreeing with his desired lifestyle? Or maybe a poison society that told him that it was okay to live in a fantasy, a perception that could never really be. Hollywood, the media, his friends and neighbors all encouraged him to rebel against his parents, all encouraged the anger and hatred he had for them and for God, and it was ultimately the rebellion that brought about his suicide. Seriously, had he waited a year, he would have been out from under his parents’ authority to do as he wanted with his body and life. But no, “Leela” had to make a point. Some say it was to help ensure that transgendered people like he believed himself to be could live in peace. Yet, society was already good with his decision, it was just his parents and church that were against it, things he could have easily left behind. Instead he killed himself, and so really, the point he sought to make was just what he said “F*** you” to his parents. That’s all it was, all he wanted to do. he wanted them to feel guilty for not condoning his fantasy, and it will never be anything more than that.
    I am truly sorry for this loss, a senseless loss of great potential, all because one kid was too selfish to see that there was a reality beyond his tiny self-imposed perception, too selfish to see that his parents were really the only ones who loved him enough to tell the truth. Very sad, very tragc, but certaily NOT the fault of his parents or Christianty in general. His fault, with a heavy dose of people like yourselves who beleve its more important to embrace fantasy than reality.

    • While you’ve a right to your opinion, there are a number of fallacies in your comments. I will only point out a few . . .

      1) Victim blaming. That’s a cop out argument. It’s enough to dismiss your entire post.

      2) Being trans isn’t “choice/fantasy” If it were, the suicide rate of trans kids would drop considerably because, like you said, they can wait until they’re 18.

      3) So why couldn’t she wait until she was 18? Something deeper is going on here beyond your understanding,

      4) If the parents weren’t such Conservative Christians, Leelah would be alive today. Conservative Christianity has everything to do with. Leelah’s parents put their Conservative Christian faith ahead of Leelah’s well-being. This explains the “f*ck you”.

      — Lexie Cannes

    • Your post is representative of the type of ignorance that contributes to deaths like Leelahs. I encourage you to learn about transgender people if you feel compelled to comment on our experiences, you should at least make an attempt to understand us before deciding you know what we are all about. We’re easy to find on the internet, I encourage you to open conversation and learn from the source.

    • Leelah’s so-called “christian” parents MURDERED her, and as far as I am concerned it is time to put up thousands of WANTED posters with a picture of Leelah’s parents……WANTED, FOR FIRST DEGREE MURDER OF THEIR DAUHTER LEELAH.

  15. As someone struggling with my own identity this made me cry 😥
    Why does the world have to be an evil f**ked up place?

  16. I think we need to find out where Leelah is buried by her idiotic so-called “parents”, dig up the coffin and take her to a new cemetery and bury her there with the correct name on her headstone.

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  18. Seems more like death by extreme mental health issues and hallucinations of “transsexualism”.

    Delusions of erasure are a common problem with those projecting their mental health issues expecting everyone else to accept them.

    http://wfmh.com/

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  20. For anyone who isn’t aware, part of I-71 has been named “Leelah Alcorn Memorial Highway”, and there is a cleanup scheduled for Jan 16th, 2016 if you are in the area.

    link to the facebook page with sign-up information.

    https://www.facebook.com/leelahhighway/?fref=ts

    Bobbie Jo Justice

Trackbacks

  1. “Transparent” Golden Globe winners thanks trans community; dedicates award to Leelah Alcorn | LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS
  2. Moved by Leelah’s story, President Obama calls for end to ‘conversion therapies’ | LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS
  3. Recent spate of transgender suicides: An actual increase or more awareness? | LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS
  4. Recent spate of transgender suicides: An actual increase or more awareness? | The Fuckington Post
  5. (UPDATE – Kelly Lepley gives TED talk) Leelah’s turmoil prompts stepped-up activism by transgender airline pilots | LEXIE CANNES STATE OF TRANS

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