17 year old Leelah Alcorn died by apparent suicide this week in a pedestrian-truck accident in Ohio. Leelah’s death has been widely reported using her old name and with the contents of a note she allegedly wrote before walking along the highway. Neither is helpful.
Leelah was a 17 year old trans girl. Her death is a loss to her friends and family and to the larger community. We can’t know for sure what she was thinking or why she made any of these decisions. We can honor her life and the lives of other young people in our community by striving to create more tolerance, more equality and safer spaces for all LGBTQ persons. We can acknowledge the tragic loss of a 17 year old by rolling up our sleeves to do that hard work necessary to create this space.
If you know someone in crisis, please reach out with support and tools.
If you need support, please reach out to the GLBT National Hotline (888-843-4564). LGBTQ youth can call the Trevor Project Hotline (866-488-7386) and transgender people can utilize the Transgender Helpline (855-345-8464).
Your life matters. Please know that so many of us do care and believe you can have a good life, that you deserve it.
Rest in peace, Leelah. May your story inspire others to look for supports and tools they need.