Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender teen from Ohio killed herself, or should it be himself? Leelah Alcorn was born a boy, but from the age of four, felt she was a girl. On Sunday, shortly before 2:30 a.m., Leelah Alcorn’s confusion on whether she was a boy or a girl ended when the 17-year-old teen walked out into a busy road on the I-71 highway in Ohio. The teen was struck and killed by a tractor trailer just four miles from Leelah’s home in Kings Mills, reports The Mirror on Dec. 30.
Leelah Alcorn’s birth certificate said that she was a boy and that her name was Josh Alcorn. Having been born into a Christian family, Alcorn’s parents wanted their child to be a “perfect little straight Christian boy.”
In a suicide note posted on Tumblr, Leelah wrote that after years of confusion about her identity, she finally learned – at the age of 14 – the meaning of being transgender. “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. 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.”
At the age of 16, the Ohio teen understood that there was no support from either her (or his) parents or therapists. After coming out as gay at school, Alcorn’s parents withdrew their son from school, took away his laptop and phone, and isolated him from his friends. “I was completely alone for 5 months. No friends, no support, no love. Just my parent’s disappointment and the cruelty of loneliness.”
At the end of the school year, Alcorn’s parents came around and allowed their son back into social media and to his friends, but by then, the teen’s realization about his true friends and his alienation to the world had magnified.
“After a summer of having almost no friends plus the weight of having to think about college, save money for moving out, keep my grades up, go to church each week and feel like shit because everyone there is against everything I live for, I have decided I’ve had enough. I’m never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. I’m never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. I’m never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I’m never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I’m never going to find a man who loves me. I’m never going to be happy. Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out. I’m sad enough already, I don’t need my life to get any worse. People say ‘it gets better’ but that isn’t true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse.”
Leelah Alcorn, having nowhere else to turn for support, turned to the tractor trailer on the I-71 highway in Ohio. Before saying “Goodbye” in her suicide note (signed with the name Leelah in parenthesis and the name Josh crossed out), the transgender teen pleads to the world to take a look at the number of transgender people who commit suicide each year. “I want someone to look at that number and say ‘that’s f*cked up’ and fix it. Fix society. Please.”