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Leelah Alcorn

This topic contains 21 replies, has 12 voices, and was last updated by  marysetrueblood 1 year, 11 months ago.

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loveoutloud

loveoutloud

Leelah (born James Alcorn) grew up in a christian home. She came out to her parents when she was 14, and they FLIPPED OUT. They sent her to therapy, took her out of public school, forbid her from going near a computer, and just overall over-reacted. Her parents denial, lecturing, hate, and insistence that she was a boy drove her into a deep depression, making her hate everything about herself. She killed herself on December 28th, 2014.
(This isn’t the full story, but it is what I know is true. Do some reaserch if you want to know more.)

I just want to point out what a tragedy this is, for so many reasons. First of all, that her parents would react in such a way, even though they are Christians and Jesus tells us that the second most important commandment is to love everyone. Second, that she felt the need to end her life so early. Third, because lets face it- the majority of Christians would support an alcoholic’s decisions, which actually hurt people, more then they would support a non-heterosexual’s decisions which do nothing to hurt anybody.
I don’t care where you stand on the argument about morals, this is a tragedy that I wanted to bring to your attention. A life is a life, no matter what.

January 6, 2015 at 21:02
AdventureGirl

AdventureGirl

Christians would support an alcoholic’s decision to do what?

And yes, whenever a life is taken it’s devastating. Would you happen to have a link to the article about the parents? The article I read a few days ago only touched on it briefly, and just said the parents weren’t supportive of the decision.

January 6, 2015 at 21:20
loveoutloud

loveoutloud

Sorry, should have elaborated on that. That one’s from personal experience. There was man at my church who was an extreme chocoholic, and yet the majority of the congregation supported him because he told them he was trying to quit, even though there were no signs or proof of that. When the same congregation found out that my friend Jake was gay, he was condemned and hated on so much that he stopped coming all together.

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2891267/Transgender-teenager-leaves-heartbreaking-suicide-note-blaming-Christian-parents-walking-tractor-trailer-highway.html

January 6, 2015 at 21:30
EmeraRider

EmeraRider

The worst part is that her parents decided they would rather shut her away and make her feel worthless than accept her. As a parent, your duty should be to love your children unconditionally. You won’t always understand them, but you have to love them and make sure they feel that way. Leelah’s parents continue to claim they loved her, but now their daughter is gone because of what they put her through and she couldn’t imagine ever being anything but miserable. As parents, they should have continued to love and care for her, and helped her through it all, but they dehumanized her by treating her like she was broken and needed to be fixed.

January 6, 2015 at 21:34
AllisonGrace

AllisonGrace

Guys, I don’t know. We’re so quick to blame the parents and pity the victim. She may have felt unaccepted by her parents, but we don’t know how they actually treated her. The only reason I say this is because my ex’s family had something like that.
When my ex boyfriend’s brother came out as gay, the family decided to stop supporting him financially. Because they didn’t support that lifestyle, they didn’t want to pay for it. Honestly, I think it was a good way to handle it. However, they continue to love him and treat him well in the family.
Leelah was really young. I feel for her because depression is such a dark place. I guess I just am quick to defend the parents because while yes, they may have been hateful, we don’t truly know. I am absolutely sure that they loved her, and wanted the best for her. It would be SO HARD to be walking by faith and have your child be living in a lifestyle that opposes that faith.

I hope I’m not coming off as unsympathetic. It is truly a tragedy. I just don’t like when people are so quick to hate on the parents. Honestly, they did some things I would do. I would take my child to a Christian counselor. Perhaps not a crazy conservative one, but Christian nonetheless. EmeraRider, we are ALL broken, and need to be fixed. That’s the gospel. I wish that Leelah had some mentors that were more compassionate. I wish her friends reached out. I’m not the saying the parents are without blame. All I’m saying is that we should not be quick to condemn them. I’m sure they feel enough guilt as it is. I can’t imagine my child’s last words to me being “f*** you.”

It’s hard for me to write about, because I am heartbroken that she felt unloved. I feel for her parents. I feel for those who knew her. I wish she would’ve reached towards an unconditional love.

January 7, 2015 at 07:33
Celby

Celby

I don’t want to come off as insensitive but what about that poor truck driver who now has to deal with being the one who bashed this person. I really don’t think that their choice to commit suicide by involving someone else was anything selfless at all. All I can think of now is what’s going to happen now that they’ve killed themselves, what happens when they face God? I wonder, if they had lived longer, would they have been saved? Their parents right now probably aren’t happy about their child having passed away, but the media now demonises them. It’s not that I agree with their methods of handling this child in any way, but as the person themselves stated, their parents wanted them to be a good Christian boy. Perhaps they actually were looking out for their child. I tend to believe that parents should guide their children in the way of the Father, not the world. We are all born with sin and God is willing to fix that for us if we come to Him in faith. I guess I didn’t grow up in a culture where it’s the parents’ job to cater to a misbehaving teenager’s desires, but rather people who really looked out and beyond into our future and the repercussions of the life you live in this temporary world. To me that’s real love.

January 7, 2015 at 14:05
AdventureGirl

AdventureGirl

LoveoutLoud~Thanks for elaborating, and sharing the link! That was the most horrible letter I’ve ever read. I’m so, so sorry Leelah thought that was the only way out.

I do think Celby made a good point though, and AllisonGrace pretty much put into words exactly how I feel.

This is a bonus questions guys, but why do you think someone would feel as if they were a girl trapped in a boy’s body? Do you think it is because of gender stereotypes? What did this person hope to accomplish, or feel, as a woman that he couldn’t as a man? I don’t think it has to do with sex or marriage because Leelah said this started at age 4.

January 7, 2015 at 14:33
EmeraRider

EmeraRider

Overall, what I’m trying to say that more love needs to exist everywhere, especially in families where members don’t understand how another is feeling. She was so young, and saw no way out of her misery because she felt so unloved.

January 7, 2015 at 14:57
rainbowuni

rainbowuni

Extending on Adventure’s question:
Imagine if you had been born a boy. Imagine your parents were thrilled about their son, gave him a stereotypical male name, and raised him with stereotypical “boys” toys. Basically, they loved and raised him in the way any good Christian parents would raise their son.
…but their “son” is you, and you don’t like the “male” life you’ve been given. It just doesn’t seem to fit right. Not only is it stereotypical things like wearing dresses or playing with dolls, but you want to be a woman: you want to be someone’s wife, not their husband. Maybe you want to have kids someday–to physically be pregnant and are disappointed when you realize that it can never happen. Maybe you strongly dislike the physical male genitalia you’re stuck with. Maybe male pronouns just don’t feel right (think about it, if everyone stopped using “her/she” and started using “him/he” when referring to you, how would you feel?), or “masculinity” just isn’t for you. You don’t know why you feel this way, but these feelings started before you can remember, you’ve felt this way your whole life and the feelings never go away.
Obviously, your Christian parents don’t agree with you, and think you’re just confused. They refuse to let you be their daughter because of the 50/50 chance that gave you the wrong sex organs. The people you once thought were your friends don’t care about you either. And any “help” they try to get you for your feelings and the accompanying depression and stress that comes with this type of condition (from being shunned, feeling like nobody cares and that you’ll never be able to be happy, not to mention the joys of being a teenager) doesn’t actually help and just tells you to be a better Christian.
How would you feel if it were you in Leelah’s situation?

Personally, I think her situation could have been helped if her parents had responded differently, and let her see non-Christian counselors or at least Christian counselors that bothered to help. Maybe if they’d practiced more (unconditional) love and support of their child than “you must obey my interpretation of what God wants, no exceptions,” things might have been different. (But maybe not, who knows?) I think it’s really awful that she was pushed to this point where she saw no other way out, and now the rest of us are left to wonder what one supportive friend might have changed for her.

January 8, 2015 at 12:38
Mandi Pi

Mandi Pi

Reading about these things make me feel so sick, because this world is sick. I know that everyone who does not share this belief says that it is judgmental and terrible, and you absolutely cannot love someone but still believe this–but I am of the belief that changing what gender you are is morally wrong. This is based upon my belief that God is an all-powerful, all-knowing God who loves us, wants the best for us, is pure and holy, makes no mistakes, and creates each and every one of use uniquely and for a purpose, therefore he makes no mistake in even what gender he gives us. If I said that people can be born as the wrong gender and actually be the opposite of what their anatomy implies, then I would be contradicting my belief of God Himself, and as a Christ-follower, I just cannot do that.
I know, you’re going to think I’m narrow-minded, unloving, and judgmental for holding the belief that LGBT people are simply “confused”, but that’s what I believe. Honestly, I DON’T know exactly how to explain or justify that fully; I simply believe that there is so much evil in the world, the devil is so present here, that he can make enough influence for people to be confused about their gender or sexual attractions.
If you do not interpret the Bible or the Holy Spirit in that way, then I will ask that you respect me as a sister in Christ and do not doubt or consider my interpretations to be judgmental. If you are not a believer in God at all, then I ask you to respect me as a fellow, free-willed human being and do not belittle or consider judgmental the things I choose to believe.

Now, all of this being said: Firstly, it is none of our places to say for certain how this boy was treated (because of the beliefs stated above, I will not refer to this person as female). Even the most reliable sources cannot be completely trusted, because no one knows the thoughts, feelings, or intentions of any of the Alcorns except for they themselves. If this boy was indeed treated wrongly and not in a Christ-like, loving, accepting, gentle way no matter what, then I am deeply hurt that a human being felt driven to end their beautiful, precious life because of it. However, even so, I cannot blame the people around this boy, because I cannot say with certainty that I myself would act perfectly Christ-like in the same situation, because we are all faulted and it’s hard to avoid hurting others, no matter how hard we try.

No matter what is true about the situation, no matter what you believe, whether you are a Christ-follower or not, the fact remains the same that yet another person has been in such a dark place that they felt the need to end their own life, and that is such a sickening thing that it should inspire us to love every single person with compassion to the best of our ability, because every person deserves the opportunity to live and know how precious their life is. LGBT supporters may not like me saying this, but I do not believe that this boy being transgender makes much difference in the fact that he committed suicide. Setting him apart as “a person who ended his life because he was transgender” instead of saying “he was a person just like me who makes mistakes, has faults, has struggles, and didn’t feel loved” just separates us more from other human beings, and that’s just not right.

January 8, 2015 at 13:18
rainbowuni

rainbowuni

I’ll just ask, because I’m really curious: how do you know that God’s purpose for LGBT people isn’t to change what we consider “normal” and test how loving and accepting people are? Maybe it’s not a “mistake” but exactly what God intended–and it’s those who know to love and accept LGBT people who are truly acting like God wants them to…isn’t that a possibility?

January 8, 2015 at 13:50
SlinkyKitty88

SlinkyKitty88

Celby, that’s the first thing I thought too. This kid is so full of hurt and anger, and she decides to end her life because she believes life sucks (And she did have parents who did not handle the situation well at all, so I’m not saying she was wrong and her life was awesome, ’cause it wasn’t). I get she wanted to cause some pain for her parents, but she didn’t give a single thought to ANY of the innocent lives she ruined. Like her siblings. She wrote letters to them through Tumblr, and had them posted after her death, and she said how sorry she was, and that she loved them. (Or something like that. I read them once.)
And that truck driver. Surely she must have KNOWN there was someone actually driving the truck, and that that person now has to live with the knowledge that they unwillingly took a life.

Suicide is never the answer, and suicide where an innocent person is involved is even worse.
I get that people who are suicidal aren’t thinking clearly, but…yeesh. Makes me full of rage.
Honestly, the more I think about, the more I realize that Leelah was pretty unstable in general. She was what, 16, 17? In a year or two, she could have just LEFT. I heard she killed herself because her parents wouldn’t let her transition. In a couple of years, she wouldn’t NEED their permission. Did she really not think of that? It’s so sad how so many people desperately need help, but the people around them can’t or won’t see it. 🙁

Don’t know my opinion on transsexuals really, but they’re not hurting anyone by simply being trans (If people are hurt by that, they’re bein’ stupid. It doesn’t affect them at all.), and if someone prefers to be called something, I can manage to accommodate them. It’ not hard, and it makes a huge difference to them, so why not?
It’s like, if someone’s first name was awful, and they wanted to be called by their middle name, but people were like, “NOPE YOUR FIRST NAME IS YOUR NAME AND I REFUSE TO CALL YOU BY THE NAME YOU PREFER”, knowing said person cringes every time they hear their awful first name. It’s a silly thing to make a fuss over.

January 8, 2015 at 14:09
Mandi Pi

Mandi Pi

@rainbow, interesting concept! Firstly, I find it possible for me to believe it’s not natural and still love and accept them, as while I believe what I do for a reason, I know that there is always the possibility I’m wrong, but even so, I am called to love others and am able to because of God’s love for me. So clearly what God wants us to do is love LGBT people just like any other people, but you can do so and and it still be unnatural (1 Corinthians 16:14, Matthew 22:37-40, 1 John 4:11 discusses love).

Now, as for the theory that God intends for LGBT people to have those feelings, there are actually two ways of looking at that in my mind: either, God did create them gay or transgender or whatever and it is natural, or God created them to stay the gender He made them but allowed Satan to create “confused” feelings knowing that it would be to some benefit. As sick and insensitive as the whole everything-has-a-purpose-even-bad-stuff-like-people-not-being-accepted theory seems to be sometimes, again, it goes hand in hand with the belief that God is all-powerful and all-knowing; therefore, I believe the latter, and that God would never purposefully pour upon someone the confusing, difficult struggle (I’m speaking on the assumption that it’s immoral) of feeling like the opposite gender or being sexually attracted to the same gender. However, I could believe He might allow Satan to make someone feel like that, perhaps to do what you suggested and test His followers, since often times the reason for God allowing bad things to happen to us is to test us or help us grow.

Hopefully that answers your question, but if I didn’t quite do so or you have a different one, let me know. 🙂

January 8, 2015 at 14:57
rainbowuni

rainbowuni

@Slinky I think she knew she could transition soon, but it’d cost a lot (she talks in her letter about saving money for college and life and transitioning, which all adds up to quite a bit of money, hard for a 16/17 year old to even think about) and it’d be harder for her to transition that late, after puberty and whatnot.
Still, I agree that suicide is a bit of an extreme way of attempting to solve that problem…and bringing other people into it (like the truck driver) is even worse.

@Mandi Okay, second question 😀
Why do you think Leelah (I respect that you won’t refer to her as that, but I will) killed herself? Was it do to the devil’s influence? If so, why do you think God would allow it to go that far, even if she was a Christian and was trying to work this out (as she wrote in her tumblr post)? I don’t know if you think she’s not in heaven, but it you do, how fair is it to her that God couldn’t intervene a little to save her life, if he’s all-knowing enough to know what would happen ahead of time?

And if the idea that either God purposely makes people gay or purposely allows Satan to confuse them is what you think, I don’t think “…God would never purposefully pour upon someone the confusing, difficult struggle…” really fits in with either option, considering God would be doing both on purpose….whether he expects them to reject the feelings or not.
Honestly, wouldn’t it make more sense that, if God was going to somehow allow people to have those feelings, he’d want them to be greeted with love and acceptance rather than being told it’s wrong? I agree you can love people despite disagreeing with them, but if you can’t even use the pronouns or name they prefer, how much are they really going to feel that love?
Say someone went to your church, and you cared about them a lot. If they switched to a different church that you disagree with, would you still continue to consider them a member of your church, or continue to consider them a member of your denomination, even if they weren’t and asked you not to? You can love them, and still disagree with them, but refusing to accept them for who they are isn’t going to help anything; in fact, it will probably only turn them away from you.

January 8, 2015 at 15:27
Broken Vessel

Broken Vessel

All of this has made me wonder: What would I do if I had a child that was LGBT?

I mean, I could deal with calling them something other than their birthname, as well as the clothes, but I really don’t think I could pay for the transition…

How would you girls handle it?

January 8, 2015 at 18:23
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