Dan Savage: Leelah Alcorn's Parents Should Be Arrested


Dan Savage has called for the parents of Leelah Alcorn, the 17-year-old transgender girl who committed suicide Sunday morning by allegedly walking into traffic, to be held responsible for her death.

"If Tyler Clemente's roommate could be prosecuted—and he was—then the parents of #LeelahAlcorn can & should be," he wrote on Twitter:

— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) December 31, 2014

Alcorn's death has made national headlines after her suicide note, scheduled to publish after her death on Tumblr, detailed the tragic home life that led Leelah to feel hopeless. In the note, she claimed her parents had taken her out of school and confiscated her cell phone and laptop after she came out as gay at school.

“One day he finally posted on Facebook, ‘Hey, I’m coming out. This is me. This is who I am. Everybody was like, 'Yeah man, this is great,'" a friend of Leelah's told WCPO, referring to her with a male pronoun:

"He came to school and everyone gave him massive support. Occasionally he’d tell me, ‘Oh, I feel like I’m something else or I’m someone else,’ and wouldn’t go too far with it. I feel like it was something that was really personal to him that maybe he didn’t tell anybody about because he was nervous about it.”

Leelah's final Tumblr post explained that her parents had refused to give permission for her to begin transitioning, and as a result, she felt unsupported and as if there was "no way out." After years of seeing Christian therapists who attempted to "cure" her, she wrote: "I have decided I’ve had enough… I’m never going to be happy."

On Facebook, a man who claims to be a neighbor and close friend of Leelah's confirmed her horrific treatment at home:

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Activist Dan Savage called for a full investigation into the allegations on Twitter, and for necessary charges to be filed.

— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) December 31, 2014

— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) December 31, 2014

The "Christian therapists" who counseled #LeelahAlcorn should also be charged.

— Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) December 31, 2014

Though Alcorn's parents have yet to comment on the allegations Leelah made on Tumblr, a petition demanding the name "Leelah Alcorn" be printed on her headstone has garnished over 55,000 signatures.

The day of her death, Leelah's mother posted a short message on Facebook, referring to her as "Joshua Alcorn":


A funeral announcement has not been made. You can watch WCPO's local coverage below:

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