Article Title:A march for Leelah
Author or Credit:Eva Allan, with staff
Published on:6th January 2015 - 09:49 am
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Story ID:16257
Text:“Transgender lives are just as important and our community does not need another tragedy” writes Eva Allan, who is organising a march in Auckland for Leelah Alcorn. Alcorn died in an Ohio hospital just over a week ago following a suspected suicide. Following her death, a scheduled blog entry appeared on her Tumblr account, where she spoke about being transgender, her parents forbidding her to transition till she was 18, and her suicidal thoughts. “After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was,” Alcorn wrote. “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 doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong.” Alcorn also called for gender issues to be taught in schools. A petition aimed at enacting ‘Leelah’s Law’ has amassed more than 260,000 signatures. Here in New Zealand Eva Allan is organising a march in Auckland this Saturday, and tells us why: Leelah Alcorn could have been just another teenager who died before her time. Indeed within the transgender community such tragedies are all too common. What made Leelah's suicide different was the suicide note she left on Tumblr within that note she said "gender needs to be taught about in school the earlier the better my death needs to mean something." The Idea that such a tragedy could be avoided by better education for people on the subject of gender Identity is interesting and is definitely something worth looking into. As an activist I am used to looking at injustice and thinking what can I do to change it - how can I build a better society? I couldn't look at Leelah's note without thinking "I need to do something, I need to do whatever I can to make sure the such a tragedy doesn’t happen again. Although Leelah was American there are transgender people all over the world and all of us are at risk. Leelah said fix society so that is what we must do. I have started a Campaign centred around a demand taken from the note Leelah left, a campaign that aims at taking advantage of New Zealand's socially progressive society to pass legislation that would see gender identity taught in New Zealand schools and hopefully set a precedent for the rest of the world to follow. Transgender lives are just as important and our community does not need another tragedy. On the 10th of January there will be transgender rights marches in Auckland and Hamilton. The Auckland march starts at 2PM outside Britomart and the Hamilton march starts at 12 at Victoria Street. Marches or rallies in other centres can be arranged. The central demand is to teach gender identity in New Zealand schools and help us avoid another tragedy. Transgender rights march details here If you need to talk to someone, there is PLENTY of help out there. Good starting points are: OUTLine on 0800 OUTLINE Rainbow Youth After hours you can call the 24 hour Depression helpline: 0800 111 757  Eva Allan, with staff - 6th January 2015    
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