Target: Warren County Sheriff Larry Sims
Goal: Charge the parents of a teenage transgender girl who committed suicide after being forced into transphobic therapy with child abuse
A 17-year-old transgender girl killed herself after years of getting zero support from her parents and being forced to go to therapists who invalidated her identity and told her she was selfish for being a trans person. In the suicide note she left on her Tumblr account, Leelah Alcorn explained that she considered her life to be hopeless due to the fact that her parents had refused to recognize her as a girl or provide her with the hormone treatments she needed for transition.
In addition to this utter lack of support, Leelah said that her parents forced her to go to Christian therapists who, instead of actually treating her depression, told her that she was “selfish and wrong” for coming out as trans and told her to “look to God.” When she came out as gay at school because she thought this would be better received than coming out as trans, her parents retaliated by pulling her out of school and completely isolating her. This plunged her into a deep depression that eventually led to her decision to end her life.
It’s clear that if Leelah’s parents had only been accepting of their daughter and hadn’t lashed out by isolating her from any kind of support group, she would still be with us today. Her parents’ actions were despicable and should be considered child abuse, especially considering the fact that many parents across the country are likely treating their own transgender children in a similar fashion.
If Leelah’s parents are charged with child abuse and found guilty, it will send the message that this type of parenting is unacceptable. If it gets the attention of other intolerant parents and makes them reconsider their actions, or gets trans children away from this kind of abuse, it could save many young lives. Sign the petition below to demand that Ohio authorities charge Leelah Alcorn’s parents with abuse.
Dear Officer Sims,
You may have heard that a 17-year-old transgender girl named Leelah Alcorn committed suicide by jumping in front of a truck after years of having her identity denied by her parents. Her parents had forced her to attend therapy with Christian therapists who told her that she was selfish and wrong for being true to herself. As a result, her depression was left untreated and likely made much worse.
In Leelah’s suicide note, she outlined how this treatment by her parents led her to suicide. This includes how her parents pulled her out of school and isolated her from the world for telling her classmates that she was gay. It’s clear that this type of treatment was severely damaging to the teen, and similar treatment by intolerant parents has caused many other transgender teens to commit suicide. Behavior like this should be considered abuse.
I’m asking you to launch an investigation into Leelah Alcorn’s suicide and the way her parents treated her. Her parents should be charged with child abuse for the lack of support and general mistreatment that led to her suicide. The only way we can save the thousands of trans teens who are in similar households is to intervene by demonstrating that this kind of treatment is considered child abuse and will be punished as such. Please do what you can to save these vulnerable kids from the depression and hopelessness that comes from parental rejection and emotional abuse.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: torbakhopper via Wikimedia Commons