Funeral For Transgender 17-Year-Old Moved After Threats To Family
Leelah Alcorn left a suicide note on Tumblr pleading, "fix society." "Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better," she wrote.
Updated — Jan. 2, 4:40 p.m. ET: Leelah Alcorn's funeral, which was originally scheduled for Friday, has been moved after the family received threats.
The funeral for an Ohio transgender teen whose death and suicide note struck a chord across the country was moved Friday and held privately after threats against the family. Leelah Alcorn, 17, died Sunday after writing in an online diary that her parents didn't accept that she identified as female.
The youth and family minister at Northeast Church of Christ in Cincinnati, Tim Tripp, told NBC News that the funeral was rescheduled in a private location after ""the times and dates had been publicized, and the family's received threats."
He added that the family had received threats there would be "disruptions" at the funeral, but did not elaborate on Tripp wouldn't specify what threats surrounded the funeral, other than to say the family had heard there would be "disruptions."
Tim Tripp did not immediately respond to BuzzFeed News' request for comment.
Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender girl from Kings Mills, Ohio, died on Dec. 28. A suicide note appeared on her Tumblr that evening.
She had scheduled the letter to be published after her death.
She wrote that she felt "like a girl trapped in a boy's body" and had done so "ever since [she] was 4."
Leelah said: "When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was."
But she felt she was isolated from society by her Christian family and said she was not given consent to transition on her 16th birthday, which "absolutely broke [her] heart."
At the end of her letter she included this plea:
My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say "that's fucked up" and fix it. Fix society. Please.
Leelah had some advice for parents of transgender teens and children.
She begged them to never tell their child that being transgender is "a phase," "that God doesn't make mistakes," or that they can never truly be the gender they feel they are.
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.
She included this request for her will:
I want 100% of the things that I legally own to be sold and the money (plus my money in the bank) to be given to trans civil rights movements and support groups, I don't give a shit which one. The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren't treated the way I was, they're treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better.
Leelah's mother posted this on Facebook.
On Monday evening, another queued post from Leelah appeared on her Tumblr, titled "SORRY," in which she issued a series of apologies to friends and family. But to her mother and father, she wrote, "Fuck you. You can't just control other people like that."
And now for my sorry notes to some people I knew…
Amanda: You are going to have such a wonderful life. You are the most talented and pretty little girl I've ever met and I love you so much, Amanda. Please don't be sad. I'm going to miss you so very much. I love you.
Tiffany: We haven't talked much recently since we're both so busy but I'm so happy you're my sister. You are so courageous and determined to achieve what you want, you can accomplish anything. I love you.
Justin: We've been jerks to each other a lot recently but I really do love you. You get on my nerves almost all the time but no matter what a part of me will always love you. Sorry for picking on you so much when we were kids.
Rylan: I'm so sorry I'm never there for you. I love you so much.
Abby: Thank you for dealing with my pathetic problems, all I did was make your life harder and I'm sorry.
Mom and Dad: Fuck you. You can't just control other people like that. That's messed up.
I don't really feel the need to apologize to anyone else… odds are you didn't give a shit about me and if you do, you did something that made me feel like shit and you don't deserve an apology.
Also, anyone 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.
If you are struggling with suicidal thoughts or depression there are resources for help:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (USA): 1-800-273-TALK (8255)
Transgender Lifeline (USA): +187 756 588 60
Samaritans (UK): 08457 90 90 90
Suicide Prevention (Aus): 13 11 14