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In Loving Memory of Leelah Alcorn, a Transgender Teen

Updated on January 23, 2015

Beautiful Leelah Alcorn

Leelah Alcorn, a beautiful transgender teen girl

I never met her and sadly only learned of her through a sad and tragic news story that documented yet another transgender teenage suicide, hers actually. I read the article and clicked on to a link that took me to her Tumblr page where she posted her suicide note. As I read it I couldn't help but cry and feel overwhelming emotion for this poor girl. She struggled for most of her life and all she ever wanted was to be accepted and loved by her family for being true to her inner transgender self. Leelah struggled with gender dysphoria which is a medical condition where the individual feels a disconnect between their born sex and their perceived gender. The mind does not fit the body.

In Leelah's case she identified as a girl but she was born a boy. She tried to figure out what was going on with her and then at age 14 she had a break through. She learned about gender dysphoria and gender identity disorder and she was able to put the pieces of the puzzle together to finally realize who she was. She was thrilled to learn of this but when she revealed it to her parents she was met with opposition and they did not accept her as a girl. She was heartbroken and felt all alone and terribly isolated. She was starting to fall into a deep depression and felt her situation was hopeless.

Her parents tried to change her by bringing her to a therapist who used conversion therapy which is used to try to convince a transgender individual to alter their inner feelings to conform to their born sex. This is not helpful in any way and most likely results in the patient's continuing depression. Leelah certainly did not benefit from this kind of treatment as evidenced by her suicide. I don't want to judge Leelah's parents but I think they did not treat her properly. Her mom refused to refer to her as a girl and in her facebook page post she referred to her as her son and seemed detached in stating her child's suicide. I believe they forced her to take her life due to their ignorance and intolerance of her transgender identity and that is very sad.

Leelah's death is very tragic and sad because she was shunned by her own family just for expressing her true self. Now her family will have to live with that for the rest of their lives. Hopefully Leelah's tragic suicide won't be forgotten. There must be more awareness and tolerance. Any form of conversion therapy should be banned from being used.

I was touched by Leelah's story so I am dedicating this writing which includes my tribute video to her memory and hopefully her story will have a profound effect on how transgender youth and teens should be treated which is with love, respect, dignity and full acceptance.

I pray for Leelah to have eternal peace in heaven and to be embraced as the sweet, lovely girl she always knew she was in her heart and soul. Goodbye sweet angel!


Emily Iannielli

In memory of Leelah Alcorn

In memory Leelah Alcorn

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    • ediann profile image

      ediann 2 years ago

      I agree with you completely. It is very tragic and very heartbreaking. I cried when I read her tragic story. It is so very sad. Thanks for your comment. Emily

    • Raceme profile image

      Raceme 2 years ago

      I find it awful how many people finally decide to open their hearts to her only after she's dead. A 17-year-old shouldn't become a martyr, and yet her death has moved the T of LGBT forward. It's a truly convoluted situation, that the thing Leelah most desired only came about as a result of taking her own life.