Transgender teen who died of an apparent suicide: ‘Fix society. Please.’


The first time Abby Jones talked to Leelah Alcorn, it was summer, when Alcorn had just taken a new job as a caricaturist at an Ohio amusement park. That day, Jones didn’t notice the sadness. She didn’t see the confusion — or the pain that she would come to recognize in Alcorn’s pale brown eyes. Alcorn was demure, but witty, someone who would surprise with a quiet joke that left you rolling. “She had this light,” Jones told The Washington Post. “She would make these jokes, and say these things quietly that were really funny. Basically, we were soon best friends.”

The last time Abby Jones talked to Leelah Alcorn was on Christmas morning. Jones again didn’t notice anything amiss. By then, she knew of the struggles Alcorn endured. She knew that Alcorn’s given name was Joshua, and that she was transgender. She knew Alcorn’s parents resisted their child’s urge to transition. And she knew all about Leelah’s depression. But as the two talked last week, Alcorn seemed upbeat. Happy, even.

“She was talking about her New Year’s resolutions, and how she was going to try to be more happy and accept people for who they were,” Jones told The Post early Wednesday morning. “It was a really light-hearted conversation. And then on Sunday, when I heard what happened, I was just in shock.”

There are a lot of kids out there who are hurting. I think all of us need to consider how we can be good Christian examples to them and comfort them when they need it. It isn’t an easy balance, but this is the kind of thing that can happen when things go wrong.


Agreed. He had a lot of underlying issues that no amount of bodily mutilation would fix. Good counseling from a completely trusted confidant could have helped a lot. It would have reduced the urge to make a statement through suicide.


Transgender people commit suicide at much higher rates than the general population. But this is not the fault of “society”. This idea that self-mutilation can achieve what therapy cannot is crazy. Psychiatrists should stop pretending that one’s desire to become the other sex is not a disorder. It is. :frowning:


Once again we see how dangerous the ideologies of conversion therapists are to the wellbeing of our children :(. I hope her death sparks nationwide bans on conversion therapy for both transgenderism and homosexuality for minors. These suicides need to stop – we need to change our culture.


“Mom and Dad: F–k you. You can’t just control other people like that,” the 16-year-old wrote. “That’s messed up.”

Ugh. The parents tried to give him a therapist, who he rejected because they wouldn’t tell him what he wanted to hear. From the sounds of the article they were kind to him the entire time. He was 16, he could have left, instead, he decided to slam his parents. Prayers for his mother and father.


Good for you for using the pronoun that Leelah would have wanted. :thumbsup:


Did I blame parents? No. Not at all. All I said is that self-mutilation does not solve psychological problems, no matter how many professionals say otherwise. :frowning:


I apologize not being clear. I agree with you. It was an appendum to your post, not an attack.


I agree 10000000.00000000% with your post! Some posters here fail to realize that the vast majority of transgender “human beings” do not undergo gender reassignment surgery. Luckily, as the world becomes more and more educated the fear and loathing directed towards those who are different (in any way, not just sexual identity issues) will continue to decline. I’m praying for her parents too, that out of this tragedy they may be able to help other parents understand that a child off God is a child of God, no matter what sexual orientation they might be.



The problem with this confused children is that they are surrounded by an immoral and godless society that would pretend to redefine what God has made. Worse is that “Christians” would support a confused child like this. Fortunately, this is mitigating circumstances for the child which Jesus Christ will take into account. However, for those that are familiar with the Word of God, supported by science, what excuse would they have? The Bible says their consciences are seared for good reason. May they see their error before it is too late, as misleading a child is a serious offense.


It is so tragic when a teen takes their own life. I have no doubt the parents just did not know what to do, there is no textbook on how to handle anything like this, save the Bible which teaches us to pray and to have mercy.

I pray for the repose of the teen and the parents.


I agree that this is a very complex mental health issue, not a problem of lack of social acceptance. I also agree that encouraging kids into some sort of acceptance or opening to this condition is as potentially lethal as ridiculing and rejecting them for it. Both responses are unconscionable.




More than 50 percent of transgender teens will make at least one suicide attempt before turning 20, according to the Youth Suicide Prevention Program.


Conspicuously, even as homosexual and transgender acceptance increases so too does depression and suicide attempts of said.

If we were a logical society we would use common sense and infer that society’s acceptance of this behavior was not related to the mental well being of these confused children, but no we do the opposite. Only after children are taught from kindergarten to college that sexual identity is a personal choice and the majority of people support this and it has saturated society will the godless realize they were wrong. Then what?

Homosexuality and transgenderism have been around for thousands of years. Many societies have embraced this, the Greeks and Romans specifically. Where are they now? Just like all societies that have embraced alternate sexual identities they disappeared, just like ours will.


What statistics do you know of that demonstrate that there is a correlation between increasing acceptance of homosexuality and transgender and increasing depression and suicide attempts? If any such statistics even existed, I’m sure that the rates of depression and suicide were higher in the past. There is also no evidence that the Roman Empire, for example, collapsed because of homosexuality.


The teenage suicide rate has increased and homosexuals have the highest incidence. I am pretty sure that I have posted this.

In our modern world homosexuality is celebrated, therefore, glossing over Rome’s and Greece’s embrace of homosexuality is to be expected. Still, societies that embrace homosexuality embrace the destruction of family and thus the birth rate drops.


We Catholics should give all love, hope and joy as we spread the Good News. Somewhere Christians have lost the zeal to give the message. It is a lot easier to condemn or ignore people than to love them.


Whenever these things happen, it makes me so confused and angry, because I’m never quite sure how to react. Aside from the obvious: mourning for yet another life lost to suicide, praying for their soul and for the well-being of their families.

But should I be taking this as a story about a blameless individual oppressed by the standards of society who is driven to suicide and the fault is on those who held those standards over her? That’s obviously what the media and popular opinion jumps to… So then does the fact that someone suffered greatly as a result of this standard mean that the standard should not exist? That’s not exactly a logical leap of thought, but it’s definitely tempting in these scenarios. Obviously other people come to that conclusion. I often see (because I browse Tumblr) people assert that a gender binary doesn’t or shouldn’t exist. I mean, I can’t deny that the way gender is experienced by many people is a very complicated business, (according to sites like ) so how am I supposed to respond to this?

Then again I refuse to think about this story as about a disturbed teen who resented his parents not giving him what he wanted and killed himself as a final act of defiance… I kind of get that vibe from some of the posts on transgender topics here on CAF. It’s cold, not at all helpful, and only gives credence to the attitude in the previous paragraph. I think it’s safe to say the correct approach is more nuanced than either of these.

The Church’s vague stance on this issue doesn’t help either. Even if we agree that it’s not right to perform surgical or hormonal “mutilation” on a person, that doesn’t give us an answer about what to do when someone wants to present as the opposite sex, with things like style of hair and dress and especially pronoun usage. Are all of these things fine as long as the body isn’t damaged? And if so, is it fine only as a bandaid for the identity disorder or as something to be positively affirmed?

Then on top of all of that, there’s the issue of Leelah’s parents. We’ll never know how exactly they handled the issue, other than attempting conversion therapy - which never seems to be a good move - but she definitely wasn’t feeling love from them. But was that because they were actually resentful of her? Or did they try their very best but she wouldn’t take anything except “yes and I’ll pay for your transition” as a sign of love? What does this mean if someday I have kids and one of them comes to me with this issue? If I have to defend a Church teaching to them, might I also have to bury my child? What if a good friend comes out to me as trans? The first words that come out of my mouth can have a profound impact on them…


Conversion therapy is a travesty and should not be used by people who purport to love others.

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