~Tribute to Leelah Alcorn, by You Will Rise Project
This video is a tribute to Leelah Alcorn, a young transgender girl from Ohio who tragically took her life on Dec. 28, 2014. The suicide note she scheduled to automatically post to Tumblr is a powerful reminder of the struggles so many young people face and why we must work harder to reach out and help every single one of them. In it, she talked about coming out at 14 as transgender but being forced to deny this truth about herself. She said that her parents made her attend Christian conversion therapy and cut her off from her network of friends. The passionate post concluded with the following plea:
“Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. …. Fix society. Please.”
In the spirit of Leelah’s request, we created this video in her honor. It contains artwork that has been sent to us from young people all around the world who relate to her story. We first shared it at The Year of the Phoenix benefit on January 17, with all of the cast members standing together onstage holding candles.
Below are the individual art submissions followed by some photos from the event.
Featuring artwork by:
Danielle S. Rowley
Kimberly Sinderlocke Catchpole
Lenn Folena agender
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-TALK (8255)