Wednesday, December 31, 2014

RIP Leelah Alcorn - Voice & Choice for Transgender Youth

Rest in peace Leelah Alcorn(#LeelahAlcorn). Leelah’s death, by her own hand, is a tragic and unnecessary loss of a young and vibrant human being. Consequently, her death is a wake up call for American society. We, as a society, need to increase our awareness of the needs of transgender youth, and legislate laws to support access to positive gender expression, ASAP, to prevent future transgender suicides. How a person expresses their gender is a social construct. We, as a first world society, need to wake up and recognize that only biology is assigned at birth. How we identify, i.e., male/female, is cultural, taught in the home, and reinforced socially in the community (school/church/synagogue/temple). This is termed positive gender expression. In the United States education is institutionalized; and as such, math, science, reading, etc. are taught in school. We now teach nutrition in school. The question then becomes when do we, as a first world society, begin teaching tolerance and choice? When do we institutionalize humanity? Should we not teach this in school as well? Is this not as important as math, science, or nutrition? At present, parental consent is not required to obtain birth control. In California, if a teen age 12 or above is at risk and meets medical necessity they are able to obtain mental health services without parental consent. However, a transgender youth in crisis is not allowed to determine their gender identification and receive services to support positive gender expression? This is not acceptable. How many more lives do we need to lose before making the appropriate changes to support positive gender expression? We cannot allow Leelah’s death to be an empty tragedy. Instead, let us honor her death by giving it the meaning she requested in her suicide note ( Let us honor her last request and gather as a society to advocate for change today!!!!!

For further information about transgender youth, or for resources/referrals for supportive servcies, please visit or call 1-323-993-7400 today.