Police reported that the 17-year-old Cincinnati, Ohio resident, born Joshua Alcorn, died Sunday after she was hit by a tractor trailer. Her mother, Carla Alcorn, soon posted a note on Facebook informing family and friends, writing, "My sweet 16-year-old son, Joshua Ryan Alcorn went home to heaven this morning," according to ABC News. "He was out for an early morning walk and was hit by a truck. Thank you for the messages and kindness and concern you have sent our way. Please continue to keep us in your prayers." It has since been taken down.
Not long after her death, a suicide note popped up on the teen's Tumblr, Lazer Princess, which had been scheduled to post after she died. Police are now looking into Leelah's passing as a suicide.
"If you are reading this, it means that I have committed suicide and obviously failed to delete this post from my queue," she began. "Please don't be sad, it's for the better. The life I would've lived isn't worth living in... because I'm transgender. I could go into detail explaining why I feel that way, but this note is probably going to be lengthy enough as it is. To put it simply, I feel like a girl trapped in a boy's body, and I've felt that way ever since I was 4. I never knew there was a word for that feeling, nor was it possible for a boy to become a girl, so I never told anyone and I just continued to do traditionally "boyish" things to try to fit in."
"When I was 14, I learned what transgender meant and cried of happiness. After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was," she continued. "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."
Leelah went on to explain that her mom took her to "Christian therapists" to try to help her, and began to feel hopeless when her parents wouldn't give her consent to start transitioning on her 17th birthday. "The longer you wait, the harder it is to transition. I felt hopeless, that I was just going to look like a man in drag for the rest of my life," she wrote.
Nevertheless, she came out as gay at school, which she said upset and embarrassed her parents, leading them to take her out of public school, take away her laptop and phone, and made her stay off social media.
"This was probably the part of my life when I was the most depressed, and I'm surprised I didn't kill myself," she went on. "I was completely alone for 5 months. No friends, no support, no love. Just my parent's disappointment and the cruelty of loneliness."At the end of the school year, her parents gave her back her phone and allowed her to go back on social media, but she still felt lonely.
"I was excited. I finally had my friends back. They were extremely excited to see me and talk to me, but only at first. Eventually they realized they didn't actually give a s**t about me, and I felt even lonelier than I did before. The only friends I thought I had only liked me because they saw me five times a week," she wrote.
After a difficult summer, she decided "enough is enough" and decided to take her own life. "I'm never going to transition successfully, even when I move out," she added. "I'm never going to be happy with the way I look or sound. I'm never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I'm never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I'm never going to find a man who loves me. I'm never going to be happy. Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There's no winning. There's no way out. I'm sad enough already, I don't need my life to get any worse. People say "it gets better" but that isn't true in my case. It gets worse. Each day I get worse."
Leelah ended the note by asking that everything she owns be sold and the money be given to trans civil rights movements and support groups. "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," she added. "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 fu**ed up" and fix it. Fix society. Please."
She signed the note "(Leelah)
If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK (8255).