this post isn’t about what you think it’s about.
at the close of december and the height of the holiday season, a transgender girl in ohio stepped in front of a truck on the interstate and ended her life.
her name was leelah alcorn.
in her suicide note, leelah cited her christian parents and christian counseling as a trigger to her suffering ::
“When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. 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. 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.”
you can read the note in its entirety here.
as someone who spends a great deal of time with people of faith – most often conservative evangelical christians – and also is connected and integrated with the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and queer communities, i’ve observed the responses of many of my friends in the church – some helpful, and some not.
despite the discomfort it may cause those within the corridors of churches, the discussions surrounding Leelah’s death insist upon an opportunity to admit ::
broadly speaking, the church has failed to equip parents with the resources to validate and love their transgender children.