Leelah Alcorn, the transgender Ohio teen whose tragic death over the holidays has moved people across the country, said in what investigators believe is a suicide note that she was not supported at home for who she was, and now friends are speaking about it.
17-year old Alcorn was struck by a truck and killed on Sunday, but left a note saying she never felt accepted by her family after coming out. Born Joshua Alcorn, Leelah said she never felt like a male when she was younger and was confused about her identity, but eventually came out via a Facebook post. She found support from her friends, according to Chris Davis, who says things weren’t so easy at home.
“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,” Alcorn reportedly wrote.
“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,” Davis said. “I hate the fact he lived in a home that didn’t support him.”
Alcorn’s death has been met with massive reaction, sparking hashtags on Twitter in support of transgender lives and a petition to get the name Leelah put on her headstone rather than Joshua. While her mother, Carla Alcorn, has declined interviews with the media, she did share the news of Leelah’s death on social media and referred to her as Joshua.
“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. Thank you for the messages and kindness and concern you have sent our way. Please continue to keep us in your prayers,” she wrote.
“The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something,” Leelah wrote.