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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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GRIFTERS

Busted: Marjorie Taylor Greene Caught Illegally Claiming a ‘Big Tax Break’ in Georgia

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Local press in Georgia caught Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene (R-GA) illegally claiming a major tax break.

“A Channel 2 Action News investigation has found that Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene and her husband have two active homestead exemptions, which is against Georgia law. A homestead exemption is a big tax break any Georgia homeowner is entitled to for their primary residence. It is against the law to file for more than one,” WSB-TV reported Friday.

“But Channel 2 investigative reporter Justin Gray pulled records showing that the Greenes are getting the tax break on two different homes in two different counties,” the network reported.

WSB-TV had a fascinating interaction when it called the controversial Republican’s office.

“In a statement, Greene’s office told Gray to mind his own business and called it a ‘pathetic smear’ when he asked them about the homestead exemptions,” the network reported. “Greene still owns a North Fulton county home, but also bought a $610,000 house in Floyd County last year in the 14th Congressional district, which she represents.”

 

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News

Bombshell Report on Matt Gaetz Is Just the Beginning: ‘This Is the Start of a Long Road’

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One of the reporters who broke the bombshell Daily Beast report on Matt Gaetz doing cocaine with an escort who had a no-show state job said the story is just the first in many to come.

MSNBC’s Chris Hayes interviewed Jose Pagliery on Friday about the report.

“When Rep. Matt Gaetz attended a 2019 GOP fundraiser in Orlando, his date that night was someone he knew well: a paid escort and amateur Instagram model who led a cocaine-fueled party after the event, according to two witnesses. The Florida congressman’s one-time wingman, Joel Greenberg, will identify that escort to investigators as one of more than 15 young women Gaetz paid for sex, according to a source familiar with the investigation,” The Beast reported.

“But what distinguishes this woman, Megan Zalonka, is that she turned her relationship with Greenberg into a taxpayer-funded no-show job that earned her an estimated $7,000 to $17,500, according to three sources and corresponding government records obtained by The Daily Beast. On Oct. 26, 2019, Gaetz attended the “Trump Defender Gala” fundraiser as the featured speaker at the Westgate Lake Resort in Orlando. Two witnesses present recalled friends reconvening at Gaetz’s hotel room for an after-party, where Zalonka prepared lines of cocaine on the bathroom counter. One of those witnesses distinctly remembers Zalonka pulling the drugs out of her makeup bag, rolling a bill of cash, and joining Gaetz in snorting the cocaine,” The Beast reported.

“It seems to me, should this all be true, I just feel like there’s not going to be real shortage of witnesses here,” Hayes said. “Has a real open secret vibe to me right now.”

“This was an afterparty, we have identified at least half a dozen people who were there and saw this take place,” Pagliery said. “The reason that we decided to break this news and start with this one is that there are lots of other parties like this. There are more young women, more locations and more actions and bad behavior on the part of Gaetz and Greenberg that we’re going to be exposing.”

“This is the start of a long road,” he added.

Watch:

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RIGHT WING HYPOCRISY

Boebert, Cawthorn, Greene on List of 101 ‘Pro-Life’ and ‘Pro-Family’ GOPers Who Just Voted Against Pregnant Workers

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The U.S. House of Representatives on Friday passed the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, a bill to protect the rights of pregnant workers, but 101 Republican members of Congress who claim to be both “pro-life” and “pro-family” voted against the legislation.

The bill, sponsored by New York Democrat Jerry Nadler, was first introduced 9 years ago. It passed Friday in a 315-101 vote. All the no votes were from Republicans. No Democrat voted no.

The bill was supported by the right wing U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which called it “a balanced approach that clarifies an employer’s obligation to accommodate the known limitations of employees and job applicants that accompany pregnancy.”

The website Motherly put it even more simply: “No one should have to choose between their paycheck and a healthy pregnancy.”

Democratic Rep. Val Demings of Florida:

Apparently, 101 Republican lawmakers disagree.

Among the more notable Republicans voting “no” were Lauren Boebert (CO), Kevin Brady (TX), Mo Brooks (AL), Ken Buck (CO), Madison Cawthorn (NC), Liz Cheney (WY), Scott DesJarlais (TN), Virginia Foxx (NC), Louie Gohmert (TX), Paul Gosar (AZ), Marjorie Taylor Greene (GA), Jody Hice (GA), Thomas Massie (KY), and Chip Roy (TX).

Here’s the list of all the lawmakers who voted against pregnant workers:

Aderholt (Alabama)
Allen (Georgia)
Armstrong (North Dakota)
Arrington (Texas)
Babin (Texas)
Baird (Indiana)
Banks (Indiana)
Barr (Kentucky) NAY
Bishop (North Carolina)
Boebert (Colorado)
Brady (Texas)
Brooks (Alabama)
Buck (Colorado)
Budd (North Carolina)
Burchett (Tennessee)
Cammack (Florida)
Carl (Alabama)
Carter (Georgia)
Carter (Texas)
Cawthorn (North Carolina)
Cheney (Wyoming)
Cline (Virginia)
Cloud (Texas)
Clyde (Georgia)
Crawford (Arkansas)
Davidson (Ohio)
DesJarlais (Tennessee)
Donalds (Florida)
Duncan (South Carolina)
Dunn (Florida)
Fallon (Texas)
Fitzgerald (Wisconsin)
Foxx (North Carolina)
Franklin, C. Scott (Florida)
Fulcher (Idaho)
Gibbs (Ohio)
Gohmert (Texas)
Good (Virginia)
Gooden (Texas)
Gosar (Arizona)
Graves (Missouri)
Green (Tennessee)
Greene (Georgia)
Grothman (Wisconsin)
Guest (Mississippi)
Harris (Maryland)
Harshbarger (Tennessee)
Hern (Oklahoma)
Herrell (New Mexico)
Hice (Georgia)
Higgins (Louisiana)
Jackson (Texas)
Johnson (Louisiana)
Jordan (Ohio)
Joyce (Pennsylvania)
Keller (Pennsylvania)
Kelly (Pennsylvania)
LaHood (Illinois)
Lamborn (Colorado)
LaTurner (Kansas)
Letlow (Louisiana)
Long (Missouri)
Loudermilk (Georgia)
Luetkemeyer (Missouri)
Mace (South Carolina)
Mann (Kansas)
Massie (Kentucky)
Mast (Florida)
McClain (Michigan)
McClintock (California)
McHenry (North Carolina)
Miller (Illinois)
Miller (West Virginia)
Moore (Alabama)
Nehls (Texas)
Norman (South Carolina)
Palazzo (Mississippi)
Palmer (Alabama)
Pence (Indiana)
Perry (Pennsylvania)
Pfluger (Texa)
Posey (Florida)
Reschenthaler (Pennsylvania)
Rice (South Carolina)
Rodgers (Washington)
Rogers (Alabama)
Rose (Tennessee)
Rosendale (Montana)
Rouzer (North Carolina)
Roy (Texas)
Scott, Austin (Georgia)
Sessions (Texas)
Smith (Nebraska)
Smucker (Pennsylvania)
Steube (Florida)
Taylor (Texas)
Timmons (South Carolina)
Van Duyne (Texas)
Walberg (Michigan)
Weber (Texas)
Westerman (AR)

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