Recently we learned of the death of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen who died of suicide because she felt life was not worth living in this world, the way it currently is. Her last wish was to shed awareness to the plight of transgender teens and kids, and the challenges they face. Leelah’s parents were not accepting of Leelah as a girl. According to Leelah’s suicide note, her parents wanted her to be their “perfect little straight Christian boy”. Even after her death, the mother continues to refer to Leelah as “him” and her “son”.
We understand it must be very difficult for parents to support their children, but these kids already have enough to deal with outside their family. Despite the increased visibility and legal gains that have been made, transgender kids remain disproportionately targeted for harassment and discrimination in schools. According to one survey, conducted by Transgender Equality Network, nearly 80% of transgender people have considered suicide and 40% have tried at least once. Isn’t it bad enough that they are teased, taunted and injured emotionally and physically in school?
These kids deserve the support of their parents. If parents don’t understand it, they should seek medical help from a gender therapist.
No one should ever suffer from bullying, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, race, or ethnicity. Teens and children deserve a safe school environment, free from harassment and violence. If your child has been bullied, please call us at 516-217-9097 for a confidential free consultation. To learn more on transgender harassment and bullying read our article.
Goldstein and Bashner