“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. 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 “that’s fucked up” and fix it. Fix society. Please.”
I haven’t said anything about the death of Leelah Alcorn. I avoided clicking on this story the first few times I saw on my news feed because I knew I wouldn’t be able to handle it. I’m still not. I’ve read parts of the article, I’ve read a tiny bit of her posts on tumblr. I’m not ready to feel the things I know I’m going to feel if I really take the time to listen to her words. Call me a coward. I hate to know that a beautiful human being (and she was, in every way, beautiful) has left this world. It hits home for me on a very deep, personal level. I hope that one day Leelah’s dream of equality will come true.
I hope that there need be no more deaths in our struggle. No more suicides, no more homicides, no more Matthew Shepard, no more Larry Kings, no more Leelah Alcorns, and no more death for the unknown number of LGBTQIA people we lose every day, week, month, year. My heart yearns for a day when we are truly free.
I am not one of those gay people who says “I understand how black people felt during the beginning of the civil rights movement,” or “I understand the trials women go through because I’m gay.” The truth is that I DON’T understand what those people felt, and no one who isn’t an LGBT person can possibly understand the pain we feel. But I hope that we can reach a place where our world doesn’t condemn and hate us for who we are anymore. I hope I can see it in my life time.
Your death meant something to me. Rest in peace, Leelah darling. You’re free now, and no one can harm you. I hope you have found peace, sweet girl.