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Use Leela's correct name, petition pleads

Fri 2 Jan 2015 In: International News View at Wayback

Nearly 60,000 people have signed a petition calling for the parents of Ohio teenager Leelah Alcorn to use her chosen name on her gravestone. The 17-year-old died in hospital on Sunday, in 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 in her note. “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.” Following her death her mother posted on Facebook that her “sweet son” had gone to heaven. It is one of a number of recently publicised cases where families and media have misgendered trans people after their deaths. A petition started a few days ago Stacy Syphax of Ohio. It reads: “Having the correct name of Leelah Alcorn on the tombstone of the late member of the transgender community would only be doing what should already be done … Her dying wish was to make her death mean something. Let's make that wish a reality.” The case has raised ongoing concerns about mental health and suicidal thoughts amongst trans youth, especially those who do not have family support. Nearly 20 per cent of transgender youth in New Zealand’s Youth ’12 study had attempted suicide in the previous 12 months. A community-driven Twitter hashtag campaign #RealLiveTransAdult has also started, in hopes it will reach other transgender people who are struggling. In Auckland, a vigil will be held at Mt Roskill War Memorial Park at 9PM today in solidarity with global action. If you need to talk to someone, there is PLENTY of help out there. Good starting points are: OUTLine on 0800 OUTLINE After hours you can call the 24 hour Depression helpline: 0800 111 757    

Credit: Daily News staff

First published: Friday, 2nd January 2015 - 9:07am

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