steepholm (steepholm) wrote,

Leelah Alcorn

Seventeen-year-old Leelah Alcorn's Tumblr account, including her suicide note, has been deleted, either by Tumblr itself or by her parents. [ETA: it's now been confirmed that it was her parents.] However, it still exists on, and here's a screen shot of her final message:

leelah note

I post this in part because Leelah wanted her death to be of some use in raising awareness of the problems faced by trans children, and deleting her Tumblr seems an act designed to disrespect her wishes in death as they were brutally denied in life. It's also in response to Sarah Ditum's New Statesman piece urging us to stop talking about Leelah's treatment at the hands of her parents and the reparative therapists they sent her to. "Concern trolling" is indeed the mot juste on this occasion: for two (amongst several) excellent analyses of Ditum's article, see Cheryl Morgan here and Natacha Kennedy here.

This isn't the way it has to be. A few weeks ago I was honoured to be contacted for advice by a young friend (whom I've known all their life), who was about to come out as trans to their (Christian) parents and wanted advice on how to do it - or rather, since I'm hardly an object lesson in that regard, on what kinds of questions and concerns they might expect. I answered as best I could, though can't take credit for the fact that they were received with love and understanding: that's the kind of people they are. But Leelah's story and variants on it are still far too common, and erasing her life and death helps no one but future abusers.
Tags: current affairs, gender
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