Leelah Alcorn, Transgender Teen


Leelah Alcorn, 17, of Kings Mills, Ohio, was struck and killed by a tractor-trailer on I-71 about 2:30 a.m. on Sunday, according to local media. Not long after, posthumous posts began to appear on her Tumblr page, titled "Lazer Princess," including her suicide note and an entry apologizing to her closest friends.

"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...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."

By age 16, Alcorn explained, "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." She came out as gay to her classmates, thinking it might put people at ease when she would later come out as transgender. "Although the reaction from my friends was positive, my parents were pissed. They felt like I was attacking their image, and that I was an embarrassment to them. They wanted me to be their perfect little straight Christian boy, and that's obviously not what I wanted."

Leelah Alcorn, Transgender Teen


Alcorn wrote that her parents took her out of public school, took away her laptop and phone, and banned her from using any and all social networks. "This was probably the part of my life when I was the most depressed, and I'm surprised I didn't kill myself," she confessed. When the school year ended, Alcorn said, "My parents finally came around and gave me my phone and let me back on social media."

"I was excited. I finally had my friends back. They were extremely excited to see me and talk to me, but only at first. Eventually they realized they didn't actually give a s--t about me, and I felt even lonelier than I did before. The only friends I thought I had only liked me because they saw me five times a week."

After a particularly difficult summer, Alcorn decided to kill herself.

"The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren't treated the way I was...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 f--ked up' and fix it."

"Fix society," she pleaded. "Please."

She signed the note, "(Leelah) Josh Alcorn."

Leelah Alcorn, Transgender Teen


In the second post, titled "Sorry," Alcorn apologized to five of her friends. Addressing her parents, she wrote, "F--k you. You can't just control other people like that. That's messed up." Alcorn explained that she didn't "really feel the need to apologize to anyone else," and later added, "Anyone who says something like 'I wish I got to know him better' or 'I wish I treated him better' gets a punch in the nose."

According to the Cincinnati Enquirer, an investigation into the accident is still pending, though no charges have been filed. An autopsy is also underway, though that will take several weeks. Alcorn's family declined to comment, though they did release a statement via the Kings Local School District requesting privacy and stating, "Joshua Alcorn was a sweet, talented, tender-hearted 17-year-old."

"My sweet 16-year-old son, Joshua Ryan Alcorn, went home to Heaven this morning," her mother wrote on Facebook Sunday. "He was out for an early morning walk and was hit by a truck. Thank you for the messages and kindness and concern you have sent our way. Please continue to keep us in your prayers."

The post has since been taken down.

After Alcorn's Tumblr posts went viral, a number of celebrities shared their grief via Twitter:

If you or someone you know needs help, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255). Transgender people who need someone to talk to can also call the Trans Lifeline at 877-565-8860 or the Trevor Project at 866-488-7386.

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