The parents of Leelah Alcorn, the 17-year-old transgender teen who recently took her own life, Carla and Doug Alcorn, are speaking out to tell their side of the story. In separate statements, the teen’s parents maintain they loved their ‘son.’
Throughout an interview on Wednesday with CNN, Carla Alcorn only referred to Leelah as her son or by using male pronouns. In his email sent Thursday to WCPO Cincinnati, Doug Alcorn also used male pronouns or referred to the teen as Joshua.
Carla Alcorn maintains that when the teen talked to her and her husband about wanting to be a girl, which was only one time, she and her husband told Leelah they would not tolerate it.
“We don’t support that, religiously. 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.”
In fact, Carla Alcorn insists the teen quit talking about being a girl and says the first time she even became aware of the name “Leelah” was from reading the teen’s suicide note.
In regards to having transition surgery, Carla Alcorn insists Leelah only spoke of it once and was told no because “we didn’t have the money for anything like that.”
Alcorn also explained to CNN the reason she took away Leelah’s access to social media was because the teen was looking at “inappropriate” things, but declined to elaborate on what those inappropriate things were.
Alcorn states her child was depressed and that counselors and a psychiatrist had given the teen mediation.
Carla Alcorn says she fears the messages directed towards her and Leelah’s father, Doug Alcorn, are making the pair out to be terrible parents, but insisted to CNN that she loved her child.
“He was an amazing musician and artist. He was an amazing boy.”
In his email to WCPO, Doug Alcorn says he also loved his child and that he wishes the family could grieve without public scrutiny.
“We love our son, Joshua, very much and are devastated by his death. We have no desire to enter into a political storm or debate with people who did not know him. We wish to grieve in private. We harbor no ill will towards anyone… I simply do not wish our words to be used against us.”
Leelah Alcorn’s death garnered national attention when her suicide note, published on Tumblr after her death, went viral. The intense debate following her death is calling for greater tolerance and acceptance in the treatment of transgender adults and children. The attention has also led to Leelah’s parents being highly criticized across social media. Gay rights activist Dan Savage is even suggesting Doug and Carla Alcorn should face prosecution in regards to the teen’s suicide.
Carla Alcorn tells CNN there has been no service for Leelah yet due to the threat of protests her family have received.
[Image via YouTube]