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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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‘I Will Not Stand by Silently’: Sotomayor Blasts SCOTUS Conservatives Over Their Latest Attack on Abortion Rights

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“The Court may look the other way, but I cannot.”

Justice Sonia Sotomayor expressed outrage at her conservative Supreme Court colleagues Thursday afternoon, after the six right wing jurists went one step further in attacking the constitutional guarantee of abortion.

Voting 6-3 against a women’s health care provider the Court denied a request by Texas Women’s Health, which provides abortion services, to change jurisdictions, which according to Justice Sotomayor the Court should have done.

“The lawsuit is now stalled with the Texas Supreme Court,” Rewire News reports.

Slate’s Mark Joseph Stern, a Supreme Court expert calls Sotomayor’s dissent “stunning.”

“This case is a disaster for the rule of law and a grave disservice to women in Texas, who have a right to control their own bodies,” Sotomayor writes. “I will not stand by silently as a State continues to nullify this constitutional guarantee. I dissent.”

She begins her dissent by explaining the case:

“It has been over four months since Texas Senate Bill 8 (S. B. 8) took effect. The law immediately devastated access to abortion care in Texas through a complicated private-bounty-hunter scheme that violates nearly 50 years of this Court’s precedents.”

“Today, for the fourth time, this Court declines to protect pregnant Texans from egregious violations of their constitutional rights. One month after directing that the petitioners’ suit could proceed in part, the Court countenances yet another violation of its own commands. Instead of stopping a Fifth Circuit panel from indulging Texas’ newest delay tactics, the Court allows the State yet again to extend the deprivation of the federal constitutional rights of its citizens through procedural manipulation. The Court may look the other way, but I cannot.”

In response the Guttmacher Institute, an organization focused on sexual and reproductive health and rights, accused the Supreme Court of “once again putting ideology over the rule of law.”

 

Image via Shutterstock

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Ivanka Trump Responds to Committee’s Invite by Saying She Called for End to Violence – Leaves Out ‘Patriots’ Part

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Ivanka Trump is responding to her invitation from the January 6 Committee by issuing a statement that is being seen suggesting she has no intention of accepting. Earlier Thursday the Committee sent the former First Daughter and White House senior advisor a lengthy 11-page letter asking for her voluntary cooperation.

A statement from her spokesperson given to CNN White House Correspondent Kate Bennett references a tweet posted by Ivanka Trump the day of the attack on the Capitol – a tweet she was forced to delete after massive outrage.

“As the Committee already knows, Ivanka did not speak at the January 6 rally,” the statement reads. “As she publicly stated at 3:15pm, ‘any security breach or disrespect to our law enforcement is unacceptable. The violence must stop immediately.”

But in the actual Ivanka Trump called the insurrectionists “American Patriots,” as CNN reported that day:

 

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BREAKING NEWS

Georgia Prosecutor Asks to Convene Special Grand Jury to Investigate Donald Trump’s Alleged Election Interference

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A Georgia county district attorney has requested to convene a special grand jury to assist in her investigation of Donald Trump‘s alleged election interference.

Fulton County District Attorney Fani Willis in a letter to the county’s Superior Court chief judge writes that her office “has received information indicating a reasonable probability that the State of Georgia’s administration of elections in 2020, including the State’s election of the President of the United States, was subject to possible criminal disruptions,” according to the Associated Press.

Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger (photo) was forced to release audio of then-President Trump appearing to intimidate him into fixing the election in his favor.

Trump, in the audio, can be heard berating and threatening the Republican Secretary of State, demanding he “recalculate” the losing election results and “find 11,780 votes” for him, which would have enabled Trump to falsely be declared the winner. Raffensberger refused.

“So look. All I want to do is this,” Trump told Raffensberger. “I just want to find 11,780 votes, which is one more than we have. Because we won the state.”

“There’s no way I lost Georgia,” he added, falsely. “There’s no way. We won by hundreds of thousands of votes.”

Willis told the AP the scope of her investigation “includes — but is not limited to — a Jan. 2, 2021, phone call between Trump and Georgia Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger, a November 2020 phone call between U.S. Sen. Lindsey Graham and Raffensperger, the abrupt resignation of the U.S. attorney in Atlanta on Jan. 4, 2021, and comments made during December 2020 Georgia legislative committee hearings on the election.”

 

 

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