Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen from King's Mill, Ohio, was killed after being hit by a tractor trailer on I-71 on Sunday, December 28. The death has been revealed as a suicide after Alcorn's suicide note was published on her Tumblr page after her death. The note was set to auto-post and was scheduled to be published in the event that she pushed through with her suicidal intentions.
Leelah began her note by saying, "If you are reading this, it means that I have committed suicide and obviously failed to delete this post from my queue."
In the note, Alcorn explains that she always felt like a girl trapped in a boy's body ever since she was 4-years-old. She struggled with confusion until she turned 14-years-old, which was when she found out about what "transgender" means.
According to her, she cried tears of joy after learning about it.
"After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was," she wrote. "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."
The negative reaction from her parents is one of the reasons Leelah fell into depression.
In the last section of the note, Leelah requested that her belongings and savings be donated to transgender civil rights groups as well as support groups. The LGBT community has begun to show their support for Leelah, who instantly became an example of the troubles plaguing the transgender community. According to studies, suicide rates in the transgender community are higher, especially among teenagers who have to grapple with gender identity, discrimination, as well as pressure from their families.
After her death, Alcorn's mother posted a Facebook status saying, "My sweet 16 year old son, Joshua Ryan Alcorn, went home to heaven this morning. He was out for an early morning walk and was hit by a truck." Alcorn's mother has since been criticized for continuing to refer to Leelah by using male pronouns.
In a second scheduled note, Alcorn wrote: "Mom and Dad: F*ck you. You can't just control other people like that. That's messed up."
The second note was published after Leelah's death wherein she apologizes to her siblings and friends, but not to her parents.
She concluded the post by saying, "I don't really feel the need to apologize to anyone else … odds are you didn't give a s**t about me and if you do, you did something that made me feel like s**t and you don't deserve an apology."
[Main image via YouTube]