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Leelah Alcorn

American transgender girl

Died when: 17 years 43 days (205 months)
Star Sign: Scorpio


Leelah Alcorn

Leelah Alcorn (November 15, 1997 – December 28, 2014) was an American transgender girl whose suicide attracted international attention; she had posted a suicide note to her Tumblr blog about societal standards affecting transgender people and expressing the hope that her death would create a dialogue about discrimination, abuse, and lack of support for transgender people.

Born and raised in Kings Mills, Ohio, Alcorn was assigned male at birth and grew up in a family affiliated with the Churches of Christ movement.

At age 14, she came out as transgender to her parents, Carla and Doug Alcorn, who refused to accept her female gender identity.

When she was 16, they denied her request to undergo transition treatment, instead sending her to Christian-based conversion therapy with the intention of convincing her to reject her gender identity and accept her gender as assigned at birth.

After she revealed her attraction toward males to her classmates, her parents removed her from school and revoked her access to social media.

In her suicide note, Alcorn cited loneliness and alienation as key reasons for her decision to end her life and blamed her parents for causing these feelings.

Alcorn used Tumblr's timer feature to publish her suicide note online several hours after her death, and it soon attracted international attention across mainstream and social media.

LGBT rights activists called attention to the incident as evidence of the problems faced by transgender youth, while vigils were held in her memory in the United States and United Kingdom.

Petitions were formed calling for the establishment of "Leelah's Law", a ban on conversion therapy in the United States, which received a supportive response from then-president Barack Obama.

Within a year, the city of Cincinnati criminalized conversion therapy.Alcorn's parents were severely criticized for misgendering and deadnaming her in comments to the media, while LGBT rights activist Dan Savage blamed them for their child's death, and social media users harassed them online.

They defended their refusal to accept Alcorn's identity and their use of conversion therapy by reference to their Christian beliefs.

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