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Leelah Alcorn Died One Year Ago Today. Did We ‘Fix Society’ Like She Asked?

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Leelah Alcorn’s tragic suicide became international news. She asked us to “fix society.” Have we?

On December 28, Leelah Alcorn walked in front of a truck. 

She was 17. Transgender. Her parents insisted on calling her “him,” and “Josh.”

But her death and the notes she left behind explaining her pain captivated the nation.

“After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong,” Leelah wrote on her Tumblr page, in a post she scheduled to be published posthumously.

As NCRM reported last year, her final words in the post were “Fix society. Please.” And she begged parents to offer support, not condemnation. “If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say that to someone, especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me.”

“My mom started taking me to a therapist,” Leelah also said in her post, “but would only take me to christian therapists, (who were all very biased) so I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression. I only got more christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help.”

After Leelah died, her mother posted a note to Facebook telling friends of the sad loss of her “sweet 16 year old son, Joshua Ryan Alcorn,” who “went home to heaven this morning.” Her Facebook page still lists her children, using the name “Josh” instead of Leelah.

So, have we fixed society?

Not even close, but there has been progress.

Transgender people in the past year have gained more positive attention, which is an important start, thanks to activists like Laverne Cox and Janet Mock. Caitlyn Jenner coming out as transgender has also helped (although she’s been widely criticized too.)

But this year has seen more murders of transgender women, especially Black transgender women, than any other in history. And transgender people are still daily mocked and harassed, often victims of hate crimes, beaten, bullied, and murdered, just for being transgender.

One very positive note, the direct result of the attention Leelah’s death brought.

A “We The People” petition on the White House website asked President Obama to “Enact Leelah’s Law to Ban All LGBTQ+ Conversion Therapy.”

NCRM found the petition, and just days before it was to expire, our readers worked hard to get enough signatures on it to require the White House to respond.

President Obama did, calling for every state to enact laws banning harmful LGBTQ “conversion” or “reparative” therapy.

And states are now, one by one, beginning to enact bans on harmful reparative and “ex-gay” therapy, while courts have begun to rule the practice is fraud.

The Secretary of Defense has ordered the ban on open service by transgender members of the military to be dropped. 

Today we should honor Leelah, and all the people the world has lost by making being transgender a struggle. 

It’s important to note that while the world owes a great deal to Leelah Alcorn, suicide is never the answer. There is always a better way to accomplish important goals. If you’re an LGBTQ youth or teen and struggling, there are people and places that can help, including The Trevor Project.

For more long-term help, advocacy, and partnership: Safe Schools Coalition, Gay Straight Alliance Network, The Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), and Parents, Families, and Friends of Lesbians and Gays (PFLAG)

 

Hat tip: Cincinnati.com

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GRAND OLD PARTY OF BIGOTS

Buttigieg Blasts Trump Allies’ Homophobia: ‘I’m Not Going to Be Lectured on Family Values From the Likes of Rush Limbaugh’

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Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg responded to two top Trump allies’ anti-gay hate this week by proudly defending his husband and his marriage.

“I’m not going to be lectured on family values from the likes of Rush Limbaugh or anybody who supports Donald J. Trump as the moral as well as the political leader of the United States,” the former South Bend, Indiana mayor told Fox News Sunday, after laughing them off.

“I am in a faithful, loving, committed marriage. I’m proud of my marriage. And I’m proud of my husband,” Buttigieg declared. “America has moved on and we should have a politics of belonging, that welcomes everybody – that’s what the American people are for.”

“I’m saddened for what the Republican Party has become if they embrace that kind of homophobic rhetoric.”

Fox News’ Chris Wallace played video of Limbaugh calling Buttigieg, “A gay guy 37-years old [who] loves kissing his husband on debate stages,” and asking, “Can you see Trump have fun with that?”

He also showed a clip of former Trump White House official Sebastian Gorka, who has been tied to a Nazi-linked group, saying: “Why is a homosexual man lecturing us on the sanctity of life in the womb. Just a little curious there – strange!”

Watch:

 

 

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CORRUPTION

Bill Barr Ouster Demanded by Over 1100 Ex-Justice Dept Officials in Scathing Letter

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According to a report from the New York Times, over 1,100 former federal prosecutors and Justice Department officials have signed on to a letter calling for Attorney General Bill Barr to step down.

The report states the letter insists, “Each of us strongly condemns President Trump’s and Attorney General Barr’s interference in the fair administration of justice,” adding those actions “require Mr. Barr to resign.”

The Times notes that signers of the letter come from across the political spectrum, adding, “Protect Democracy, a nonprofit legal group, gathered the signatures from Justice Department alumni and said it would collect more.”

Pointing out that the impetus for the letter is related to Barr’s interference in the Roger Stone case that led to prosecutors who handled it resigning en masse, the Times also reports that the signees, “Also urged current government employees to report any signs of unethical behavior at the Justice Department to the agency’s inspector general and to Congress.”

You can read more here.

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OMG

Internet Disgusted After Trump Retweets Gross Video of Texas Mayor in Bathroom: ‘I Think You Have Hit a New Low’

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For some reason Donald Trump decided on Saturday to retweet a video of a Texas mayor who was unaware he was still wearing a hot mic when he went to the bathroom, which stunned even Trump’s regular critics on Twitter.

Trump pushed out the tweet with the video that stated, “THIS IS HILARIOUS. Mayor of Georgetown in the US excused himself to go & use the washroom in the middle of a meeting & forgot to switch off his mic on his tie & this is what happened.”

Not everyone agreed, with one commenter pointing out the putative Leader of the Free World “… has too much time on his hands.”

You can see a sampling below:

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