Leelah Alcorn’s life was plagued with tough choices that would come to define her place within the world she lived. She didn’t search out fame, fortune, or a celebrity’s following. However, her death has cemented her place in the world as an icon for the LGBTQ community and anyone who feels out of place and alone in life.
Despite the awareness that she has blanketed over the world and the support from across the internet, Leelah’s parents are still refusing to accept her decision to live life as a woman. They cite their religious beliefs for their lack of support of her female lifestyle, yet state that they love their “son” unconditionally.
Leelah Alcorn’s parents spoke to the Indy Channel — which is comprised of WCPO and RTV6 — about their her suicide, her lifestyle, and their support. Leelah’s mother voiced that neither her nor her husband supported her transgender lifestyle, yet they loved him as a son unconditionally.
“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.”
As was evident in her interview with CNN, the unconditional love that her and her husband had toward their daughter did contain one condition, which was that they supported their son, not the daughter she had become. During the interview, Carla Alcorn reused to refer to Leelah as a girl or her chosen name, instead using male pronouns only. She quickly turned the interview around to portray her family as victims, stating that her and her husband have become victims of hate messages and threats of protest.
Despite her parent’s lack of support toward Leelah’s difficult life choice, which eventually led to her suicide, a massive outpour of support has flooded in from her friends, neighbors, and strangers across the internet. Leelah’s childhood friend, Chris Davis, told ABC News that he and their school peers were very supportive of Leelah’s choice to live life as a girl, but the support from her parents is what she really needed to feel whole.
“One day he finally posted on Facebook, ‘Hey, I’m coming out. This is me. This is who I am’. Everybody was like, ‘Yeah man, this is great.’ He came to school and everyone gave him massive support. I hate the fact he lived in a home that didn’t support him.”
Support has come from more than just friends, as the internet has joined forces to give purpose to Leelah’s suicide and bring awareness to the strain that the LGBTQ community feels daily. A petition has been created to place Leelah’s chosen name on her tombstone, J. Ellington Ashton Press is creating an anthology in support of Leelah – with all proceeds donated to the Trevor Project — and more importantly, awareness has been brought to the struggle of teens who choose to follow their feelings rather than abide by the restrictions of religion and society.
[Photo Courtesy: Think Progress]