[Word of caution #1: Extremely depressing content ahead.]
[Word of caution #2: I believe that the public suicide note quoted below is genuine, but have not yet been able to confirm it beyond a shadow of a doubt. The personal details do match up. I’ll update this post as I learn more.]
This past weekend, in the middle of the night, Leelah Alcorn, born Josh, stepped into southbound traffic on I-71 in Ohio, where she lived, and was killed by a Freightliner semi.
This appears to be, in part, the digital suicide letter she left behind:
When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. 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. If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say that to someone, especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me.
My mom started taking me to a therapist, but would only take me to christian therapists, (who were all very biased) so I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression. I only got more christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help.When I was 16 I realized that my parents would never come around, and that I would have to wait until I was 18 to start any sort of transitioning treatment, which absolutely broke my heart. The longer you wait, the harder it is to transition. I felt hopeless, that I was just going to look like a man in drag for the rest of my life.
After she announced more or less publicly that she was gay (keeping the revelation of being transgender for a later date), Leelah says that her school friends offered their support, but that her parents punished her.
They took me out of public school, took away my laptop and phone, and forbid me of getting on any sort of social media, completely isolating me from my friends. This was probably the part of my life when I was the most depressed, and I’m surprised I didn’t kill myself. I was completely alone for 5 months. No friends, no support, no love. Just my parent’s disappointment and the cruelty of loneliness. …
I have decided I’ve had enough. I’m never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. I’m never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. I’m never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I’m never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I’m never going to find a man who loves me. I’m never going to be happy. Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out.
In a second note, she wrote:
[A]nyone who says something like “I wish I got to know him better” or “I wish I treated him better” gets a punch in the nose.
Leelah was 17 years old when she died.