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January 9, 2015

Her story

Leelah Alcornís thoughts and feelings, in her own words

Editorís note: This is the complete text of Leelah Alcornís suicide letter, posted to Tumblr after her death, as disseminated on Facebook. The Tumblr account to which it was posted has since been removed. It has not been edited to correct grammar, punctuation or content. If you are facing depression, please know that there is help. Go to, or contact your nearest LGBT center.


If you are reading this, it means that I have committed suicide and obviously failed to delete this post from my queue.

Please donít be sad, itís for the better. The life I wouldíve lived isnít worth living inÖ because Iím transgender. I could go into detail explaining why I feel that way, but this note is probably going to be lengthy enough as it is. To put it simply, I feel like a girl trapped in a boyís body, and Iíve felt that way ever since I was 4. I never knew there was a word for that feeling, nor was it possible for a boy to become a girl, so I never told anyone and I just continued to do traditionally ďboyishĒ things to try to fit in.

When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesnít make mistakes, that I am wrong. If you are reading this, parents, please donít tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people donít ever say that to someone, especially your kid. That wonít do anything but make them hate them self. Thatís exactly what it did to me.

My mom started taking me to a therapist, but would only take me to christian therapists, (who were all very biased) so I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression. I only got more christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help.

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. The longer you wait, the harder it is to transition. I felt hopeless, that I was just going to look like a man in drag for the rest of my life. On my 16th birthday, when I didnít receive consent from my parents to start transitioning, I cried myself to sleep.

I formed a sort of a ďfuck youĒ attitude towards my parents and came out as gay at school, thinking that maybe if I eased into coming out as trans it would be less of a shock. Although the reaction from my friends was positive, my parents were pissed. They felt like I was attacking their image, and that I was an embarrassment to them. They wanted me to be their perfect little straight christian boy, and thatís obviously not what I wanted.

So they took me out of public school, took away my laptop and phone, and forbid me of getting on any sort of social media, completely isolating me from my friends. This was probably the part of my life when I was the most depressed, and Iím surprised I didnít kill myself. I was completely alone for 5 months. No friends, no support, no love. Just my parentís disappointment and the cruelty of loneliness.

At the end of the school year, my parents finally came around and gave me my phone and let me back on social media. I was excited, I finally had my friends back. They were extremely excited to see me and talk to me, but only at first. Eventually they realized they didnít actually give a shit about me, and I felt even lonelier than I did before. The only friends I thought I had only liked me because they saw me five times a week.

After a summer of having almost no friends plus the weight of having to think about college, save money for moving out, keep my grades up, go to church each week and feel like shit because everyone there is against everything I live for, I have decided Iíve had enough. Iím never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. Iím never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. Iím never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. Iím never going to have enough love to satisfy me. Iím never going to find a man who loves me. Iím never going to be happy. Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. Thereís no winning. Thereís no way out. Iím sad enough already, I donít need my life to get any worse. People say ďit gets betterĒ but that isnít true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse.

Thatís the gist of it, thatís why I feel like killing myself. Sorry if thatís not a good enough reason for you, itís good enough for me. As for my 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 donít give a shit which one. The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people arenít treated the way I was, theyíre treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. 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 ďthatís fucked upĒ and fix it. Fix society. Please.


(Leelah) Josh Alcorn








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