17-year old Ohio transgender teen Leelah Alcorn took her life last weekend. Her Tumblr posts were tragic, but her Reddit posts pose serious questions about how she was treated.
By now, many people across the nation have heard about the life – and death by suicide – of Leelah Alcorn.
She was 17 and grew up in a tiny Ohio town with ultra-conservative Christian parents whom she accuses of having denied her some very basic necessities, like access to friends.
Leelah's suicide note, published via delayed posting on Tumblr, exposes how her Christian parents treated her, and her apology note confirms how she felt – or what she wanted the world to see – about her parents, but several posts on the social media site Reddit offer even more insight and very concerning details about her life.
Alcorn on Tumblr complained that her parents only let her see Christian therapists who told her she "should look to God for help."
"I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression," she wrote on Tumblr. On Reddit, in a post she titled, "I'm sure someone on here can convince me not to kill myself," she wrote she was taking what is a powerful (and popular, albeit older) anti-depressant.
"I've been on prozac for about a year, and my dosages have been going up every couple months or so," she wrote one month ago. "I'm currently taking 60 mg every morning."
The FDA states antidepressants, including Prozac, may increase the risk of suicide in children and adolescents. Also, the popular website Drugs.com suggests the maximum dosage for people 18 and younger is 20 mg. per day in most, though not all cases. Leelah wrote she was taking 60 mg. (Full disclosure: this is not a medical statement or advice, nor are we medical doctors.)
Also revealing were statements Leelah made in a Reddit post two months ago, when she asked, "Is this considered abuse?"
She wrote her parents "never physically hurt" her, "but they always talked to me in a very derogatory tone."
They would say things like "You'll never be a real girl" or "What're you going to do, fuck boys?" or "God's going to send you straight to hell". These all made me feel awful about myself, I was christian at the time so I thought that God hated me and that I didn't deserve to be alive. I cut myself at least once every couple days, and I was constantly thinking about suicide.
That statement might call into question Leelah's mother's claim that CNN reported:
Her child came to her only once to talk about being transgender, Carla Alcorn insisted.
Then there's this:
Eventually I lied to them and told them I was straight and that I was a boy, and then the derogatory speech and neglect started to fade.
She told Reddit (which is consistent with what she wrote in her suicide note) her parents took harsh measures when she came out:
They took me out of public school, took away my phone and computer, and wouldn't let me on social media websites, so I was out of contact with any of my friends. I was like this for 5 months, completely and utterly alone. I wasn't allowed to talk to anyone outside of church and I wasn't allowed to be with any of my friends, I just had to stay in my house and be quiet.
And on Reddit she added:
I've gone out with my friends 3 times in the last year, because every time my parents cancel last minute and make me do something else. It's like they want me to have enough social interaction so I won't forget how to interact with humans, but they don't want me to actually have healthy relationships with people.
Dan Savage has called for Leelah's parents and her therapists to be prosecuted.
Image via Tumblr
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