How Do We Find Justice for Transgender Teen Leelah Alcorn?
-written by Nashoba-
“The only justice we can each ensure is in compassion: for Leelah; for her family; for those who struggle or have struggled with their gender identity; for those who never have and don't know how to understand; and for the many, many others who have fought to live in a world fraught with discrimination and who just couldn't do it anymore.”’ That was the title and the conclusion of that article from Huffington Post writer Dese'Rae L. Stage. But is compassion really justice for a young women who was psychologically abused to the point of suicide? The answer is a resounding NO! This young women took her life because of her parents, the religion her parents forced on her, and the lack of community she had in part because of both her parents and church. She was just a teen, age 17, and now her young life, as with most LGBT children was snuffed out due to bigotry and willful ignorance.
This sort of thing is completely preventable, yet it happens all too often. LGBT children suffer from anxiety, depression, and suicidal tendencies at a rate six to 14 times higher than their heterosexual peers because of the bigotry the face from their religion, their families and society every single day. Compassion? What compassion? Having compassion for Leelah’s psychologically abusive parents is justice? No, these sorts of things need to be address legally with incarceration.
If a parent of a straight or non-transgendered child mentally abused their child to the point of suicide protective services would be investigating those parents and family and the justice system would penalize them for abuse. However, when it’s a LGBT child everyone looks the other way or plays the religion card, stating that this abuse is their expression of their “deeply held religious beliefs.” Psychological abuse is NOT something we should give any leeway on especially if it’s against LGBT children and teens. This abuse came from her parents and religion; as Leelah was also forced into ex-gay therapy and was cut off from all support that would have possible saved her life. Not only should ex-gay therapy be outlawed, but it should be outlawed with extremely long and strict sentencing for all the destruction and death that it breeds.
Horrible situations like this could have been easily avoided, but because we LGBT, as a community, are so used to settling for 10th best rather than demanding true justice we get reactions like the quote above. This needs to stop, but not just from our own but our allies as well. We must fight this bigotry at every single event where it rears its ugly head. We must stop being “compassionate” towards our abuses, attackers, and destroyers. We need to stop making excuses for child abuse and start pushing for legal action to be taken against patents, churches and school systems that abuse LGBT children if we want to truly stop these horrible events from unfolding again and again. So how do we find true justice for Leelah? We persecute and prosecute those responsible with the utmost ferocity we all can muster. We demand real justice and not settle for anything less and me make a stand as a people, all of us, right here, right now: that we will no longer stand for child abuse against LGBT children in any form including religious.