It's been more than two weeks since the tragic suicide of Leelah Alcorn, a transgendered teen from Ohio, broke headlines when a suicide note that she left on her Tumblr page was discovered. Since the note was found, the teenager's death has sparked an outrage all over social media, with Facebook and Twitter users now blaming the 17-year-old's parents. A few days ago, the note that got us talking about her death has was removed from the page by her parents.
Leelah Alcorn died on the morning of December 28, when she was struck by a truck on Ohio's I-71. The teen's death was ruled a suicide when a note, in which she blamed her parents for rejecting her trans identity, surfaced online. In the note, Leelah, who was born Joshua Alcorn, claimed that she would never be happy and went on to discuss her Christian parents' refusal to support her transition at the age of 16.
"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," she wrote. "On my 16th birthday, when I didn't receive consent from my parents to start transitioning, I cried myself to sleep."
After being slammed by Twitter and Tumblr users for the Facebook tribute that Leelah's mother posted online, in which she referred to her "son" Leelah as Joshua, she deleted Leelah's original note from the Internet. But hours after it was deleted, computer programmer Cody Engel shared it again in a link, saying, "Leelah Alcorn's parents deleted her Tumblr. Too bad the Internet is written in ink. Never forget."
Other Twitter users and supporters of Leelah then followed Engel's lead, as they felt that the teen's parents were only trying to cover up the role that their lack of support played in her death.
Peter Tatchell, a transgender equality advocate, claims that Internet users have every right to repost the note despite her parents' wishes.
"The parents are clearly more interested in protecting their deservedly tarnished reputations than allowing Leelah's voice to be heard," he says. "It is good that her suicide note has been re-posted on the internet. Leelah has a right to be heard. Her parents don't own her and they have no right to prevent people from reading her heartfelt words."
Since Leelah's suicide, some people are demanding that her parents be prosecuted for child abuse, since their actions are directly tied to her death.