Isn’t Different a Good Thing?


Siandhara Bonnet

Be real, be true, be you

by Siandhara Bonnet, Editor-in-Chief

It shouldn’t take a death to bring attention to the issues in the state, country, or even the world. It should be recognized and fought on its own without families having to deal with extremes and losses, but in most cases, people wrongly turn a blind eye.

With the suicide of 17 year old Leelah Alcorn, born Joshua Alcorn, over her rejected acceptance of who she was by her parents, a voice and a name has finally been given to kids, teenagers, and adults who face the same issue everyday.

From name calling to pure rejection, these people face what is easily considered bullying simply by existing and expressing who they are, something that we are told from an extremely young age that is okay. We are told that being who we are is the best thing we can possibly do, and these people, people who are brave and have committed to being who they feel is their true self, are rejected and told no; they are told that being themselves is not okay.

In her suicide note, Alcorn expressed how she felt, the same way many people who identify as transgender feel. In turn, people have responded to her words using the tag #TransLivesMatter on the popular social media Twitter. Each post, or tweet, expresses thoughts on the lack of equality given to transgender people and raises support for them, similar to the tag #BlackLivesMatter used only weeks ago with the cases regarding Trayvon Martin, Mike Brown, and countless others.

With time, the lack of equality and the bullying will become less and less, but this will only happen if people begin to accept each other and their decisions. Unfortunately, the movement had to begin with the loss of Alcorn’s life, but thanks to her, thousands of other people may not have to suffer as much as she did and may be inspired enough to continue the fight to live and the fight for equality.

The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights. Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. I want someone to look at that number and say ‘that’s [messed] up’ and fix it. Fix society. Please.”

— Leelah Alcorn

The rest of Alcorn’s suicide note can be read here as her tumblr page and original post have been deleted by her parents.