The saddest thing I’ve read today


It is every mother’s worst nightmare to lose a child, and I have to feel Carla May Alcorn’s pain.

My sweet 16 year old son, Joshua Ryan Alcorn went home to heaven this morning. 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.

My sweet 16 year old son, Joshua Ryan Alcorn went home to heaven this morning. 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.

This is certainly not the time to take exception to the religious sentiments in her announcement. Except…

Those sentiments contributed to the misery of their daughter, Leelah Alcorn. She wasn’t just hit by a truck, she committed suicide after years of misery when her parents denied who she actually was.

If you are reading this, it means that I have committed suicide and obviously failed to delete this post from my queue. 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. 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. My mom started taking me to a therapist, but would only take me to christian therapists, (who were all very biased) so I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression. I only got more christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help. When I was 16 I realized that my parents would never come around, and that I would have to wait until I was 18 to start any sort of transitioning treatment, which absolutely broke my heart. 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. On my 16th birthday, when I didn’t receive consent from my parents to start transitioning, I cried myself to sleep. I formed a sort of a “fuck you” attitude towards my parents and came out as gay at school, thinking that maybe if I eased into coming out as trans it would be less of a shock. Although the reaction from my friends was positive, my parents were pissed. They felt like I was attacking their image, and that I was an embarrassment to them. They wanted me to be their perfect little straight christian boy, and that’s obviously not what I wanted. So they took me out of public school, took away my laptop and phone, and forbid me of getting on any sort of social media, completely isolating me from my friends. This was probably the part of my life when I was the most depressed, and I’m surprised I didn’t kill myself. 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, my parents finally came around and gave me my phone and let me back on social media. 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 shit 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. After a summer of having almost no friends plus the weight of having to think about college, save money for moving out, keep my grades up, go to church each week and feel like shit because everyone there is against everything I live for, I have decided I’ve had enough. I’m never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. 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. That’s the gist of it, that’s why I feel like killing myself. Sorry if that’s not a good enough reason for you, it’s good enough for me. As for my will, I want 100% of the things that I legally own to be sold and the money (plus my money in the bank) to be given to trans civil rights movements and support groups, I don’t give a shit which one. 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 fucked up” and fix it. Fix society. Please. Goodbye, (Leelah) Josh Alcorn

If you are reading this, it means that I have committed suicide and obviously failed to delete this post from my queue.

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. 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.

My mom started taking me to a therapist, but would only take me to christian therapists, (who were all very biased) so I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression. I only got more christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help.

When I was 16 I realized that my parents would never come around, and that I would have to wait until I was 18 to start any sort of transitioning treatment, which absolutely broke my heart. 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. On my 16th birthday, when I didn’t receive consent from my parents to start transitioning, I cried myself to sleep.
I formed a sort of a “fuck you” attitude towards my parents and came out as gay at school, thinking that maybe if I eased into coming out as trans it would be less of a shock. Although the reaction from my friends was positive, my parents were pissed. They felt like I was attacking their image, and that I was an embarrassment to them. They wanted me to be their perfect little straight christian boy, and that’s obviously not what I wanted.

So they took me out of public school, took away my laptop and phone, and forbid me of getting on any sort of social media, completely isolating me from my friends. This was probably the part of my life when I was the most depressed, and I’m surprised I didn’t kill myself. 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, my parents finally came around and gave me my phone and let me back on social media. 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 shit 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.

After a summer of having almost no friends plus the weight of having to think about college, save money for moving out, keep my grades up, go to church each week and feel like shit because everyone there is against everything I live for, I have decided I’ve had enough. I’m never going to transition successfully, even when I move out. 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.

That’s the gist of it, that’s why I feel like killing myself. Sorry if that’s not a good enough reason for you, it’s good enough for me. As for my will, I want 100% of the things that I legally own to be sold and the money (plus my money in the bank) to be given to trans civil rights movements and support groups, I don’t give a shit which one. 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 fucked up” and fix it. Fix society. Please.

Goodbye,

(Leelah) Josh Alcorn

She knew her parents would try to bury the truth of her death, so she scheduled her suicide note to appear on the web, so that her message couldn’t be hidden.

A parent’s worst nightmare might be the death of a child, but I should think a child’s worst nightmare would be being denied by a parent, in life and even more cruelly in death.

Comments

  1. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    I’m severely devastated by the way this young woman’s parents are portraying her death, as is she shamed them by being transgendered and committing suicide. I want to physically get in their faces and scream “Fuck you! You should be ashamed of yourselves!”

    I just really don’t know how to verbalize how extremely deeply I’m affected by this. That they won’t even mention that it was suicide, that they would LIE about it on facebook, because of how it would look one presumes, when their child just died and this is what they think about…

    I just can’t with people like this. They don’t deserve to have children.

  2. zenlike says

    It’s not uncommon for parents of kids who committed suicide to try to hide the suicide to the outside world, out of fear that a lot of people would think they are bad parents and that they contributed to the decision. In this case I think this fear was warranted.

    But the last words of Leelah are indeed important to remember, it’s not only the parents’ fault, it is the whole of society that needs fixing. Stat.

  3. themadtapper says

    That post by the mother makes it abundantly clear that she learned absolutely nothing from the tragedy. Her daughter suffered unbearably, and she’d rather just flush all that down the memory hole rather than reflect on the fact that it was her and her primitive beliefs that were broken, and not her daughter.

  4. Tony! The Queer Shoop says

    I read this earlier and it just broke my heart. I am sorry Leelah. So sorry that you did not have the support system you needed and deserved.

    It also sucks that her parents continue to reject her gender dysphoria even after her death.

  5. says

    Those people don’t deserve their children. They didn’t deserve Leelah.
    I always wanted children. I didn’t want sons or daughters. I wanted healthy children.
    Currently, they identify as cis girls, but I’m making sure that they know that their genitals don’t mean “girl” any more than long hair does. That there are boys who have a vulva and a vagina, that some girls have indeed a penis.
    My hope is that, should they be trans, they will know that this happens and is ok and that they can tell me and that I will support them. My other hope is that should they be cis they will grow up to be decent people and not transphobes.
    Those people, they will deny that their child was not their son, but their daughter.
    They will deny that she committed suicide.
    They will deny that they were a huge factor in this.
    But they will not be able to silence that little voice at the back of their minds that reminds them of these things.

  6. phere says

    Wow…just…wow. A few days ago, on a whim, I walked into a salon and ordered up a cut and color. The person who greeted me was obviously transgendered and in the process of becoming female. She wasn’t the one who cut my hair, but we continued to chat and laugh throughout the process. The amazing thing was she was talking about her mom and her mom actually showed up a few minutes later. You could just see the love between them and it warmed my heart beyond belief to see the support this young woman had. Sadly, I fucked up totally by saying, “Your son was just talking about you!”…NO ONE corrected me but I felt so sad that my brain was so “fixed” I guess. Male voice, male face, male hands – my brain goes “HE”. It sucked and I could tell they saw my embarrassment. Later on I referred to her as “she” so I think they realized that I was at least aware of it and willing to change.
    In comparison, this other young woman died of loneliness. That’s a motherfucking tragedy. There was no reason for this life to be effectively snuffed out. Fuck these parents. My ONLY concern in raising my son is that he is happy and kind towards others. I will not raise my son to think it’s ok to bully or intimidate or make fun of others for being different. If he came out as gay or trans or bi no one in my family would give a shit. Again, as long as HE is happy and kind to others then I have done my job as a parent. What a fucking shame…and even worse that the parents, even in the face of this tragedy, refused to open their hearts. Refused to learn anything. The world is worse off for losing such a caring and thoughtful individual.

  7. Usernames! (ᵔᴥᵔ) says

    I could understand how the parents acted the way they did. The loss of a loved one is deeply traumatic, so I certainly would be an emotional wreck if my kids were killed.

    What Leelah wrote in her note reminds me of some close friends’ tales of their own childhood experiences: the family IMAGE must be maintained as a perfect, happy household. This is the siren call of the codependent, as they are deathly afraid anyone will find out the truth.

    Is this what Leelah’s family was? I can’t say, just that their behavior looks like a duck.

    I hope, in time, they can face the reality of the situation, and later forgive themselves and make amends to their daughter.

  8. azhael says

    @Giliell

    But they will not be able to silence that little voice at the back of their minds that reminds them of these things.

    Unfortunately, there’s probably no voice, or if there is they may be able to silence it…
    In their eyes, none of this is their fault.
    Fuck them.

  9. dccarbene says

    I wonder if the mother really believes her own spin about her daughter being home in heaven.

    I guess she didn’t expect her daughter’s side of the story to come out.

    I am just horrified by this whole thing.

  10. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    I hope they’re lying about the truck as well.

    They are not. News reports report Leelah (under the name Josh and male gender) was hit by a semi at about 2:30 Sunday morning.

    Is it possible the parents don’t *know* yet that it was a suicide?

  11. jrfdeux, mode d'emploi says

    This. This is why I distrust authoritarians so fucking much. I’m reminded of Rick Santorum’s whining during his presidential run when asked about social progress: “That’s not how it’s supposed to be!” Supposed to be. And they’ll stop at nothing to sculpt the world in their image. FUCK. Poor Leelah. :-(

  12. opposablethumbs says

    My heart breaks for Leelah Alcorn, whose parents denied her the love and understanding and acceptance any and every child needs and ought to get from their parents.
    There was a time I thought one of my kids might turn out to be gay; my heart briefly dropped for one reason and one reason only – I was scared of the prejudice and bigotry they could face from others at school, and I was afraid of not being up to the task of doing enough to support and protect them. I don’t understand how any parent could abuse and isolate their own child the way this poor girl’s parents abused and cruelly isolated her.
    I’m sure they’re sorry, but they are only sorry for themselves. They don’t seem to have ever seen Leelah for who she was, let alone felt for her. It’s hard to feel for their loss, great though it is, when they did so much to drive their daughter to despair.

  13. actias says

    I’m largely ignorant of gender identity issues, so I hope that my words don’t cause any pain. This story taught me how lucky I am to have been born into a body that I readily identify with (flawed though it may be). It’s a simple thing that I have always taken for granted, like so much else. I hope we can all take something good from this tragedy, instead of absorbing only the wretchedness that her parents and their accomplices have wrought. I sincerely hope that one day her parents come to terms honestly with what happened and why, though I doubt it based on their continued denial of Leelah’s identity. Acknowledgement of identity is one of the most basic of courtesies, and it galls me that Leelah is still being denied something so basic, even in death. It seems strange to me that her mother is so religious, so convinced of a spiritual self, a soul, but was unwilling to look beyond the shape of her child to see the person she really was. For all my problems I am lucky; and I learned that from Leelah Alcorn.

  14. Thomathy, Such A 'Mo says

    This is so very sad. I must be shocked because I can’t actually muster any emotions. It’s so sad that a young girl believed that this was a decision she had to make because she couldn’t see her life improving.

    Leelah wrote a further letter, which I found published at Queerty, wherein she sort of says goodbye to her 5 siblings and her parents. That letter is heartbreaking, especially what’s written last, given what we learn from the first.

    No one should feel forced to come to such a conclusion. We live in such a hateful world, I think, and right now it’s especially difficult to believe that it’s not only hateful.

  15. gussnarp says

    @Gen (#14):

    Is it possible the parents don’t *know* yet that it was a suicide?

    It may be possible, but it’s not likely. It’s more likely that they’re just in denial about it. But one doesn’t simply go for a walk on I-71 at 2:30 in the morning. Even if she were running away, there are plenty of smaller highways and roads that would be much more promising. I suppose there might be a very slim chance that she was hitching, but at 2:30 in the morning?

  16. conorhall says

    Can someone recommend a worthy organization to honor her wishes by donating to?

  17. says

    This story, along with a picture of Leelah, was shared last night on Facebook by Danielle Muscato. She asked people to reshare it, so I did.

    I was later castigated for doing so on the grounds that posting “glamorous pictures” and the contents of a suicide note is something you should never ever do, because it will encourage other people to commit suicide.

    I think this is nonsense, but even if it isn’t– in this case, the suicide note is actually testimony of emotional abuse by Leelah about her parents. People need to know about this.

    And further, it was her last desire that they know about it. And it was Danielle’s desire that they know about it. So I don’t see how it would make sense to refuse the wishes of not one but two transgendered people on the grounds that it might inspire others to commit suicide.

    Am I mistaken about that?

  18. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    My condolences to Leelah’s sisters and brother. I hope their parents wake up and treat them with more understanding and respect than they treated her. Life in that home must be hell right now for Leelah’s siblings, if they are not like their parents.

  19. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    This story saddens me but it does not surprise me.

    Some of the old timer will probably remember how I went after Barb, years ago. This is why. What I saw in Barb is what I see in Carla Wood Alcorn, a person whose self perceived god given self righteousness allows them to abuse their children until they run away, get kicked out or commit suicide.

    Leelah never got the care nor help that she was entitled to. This is the fault of Carla Wood Alcorn and what ever is the name of the asshole father.

    This is why I hated Bard and why I went after her the way I did. The Barbs and the Carla Wood Alcorns are passive killers. And after their children are gone or dead, they will play the victim, whining about all they did to provide for their children while at the same time, deny the very essence of who their children actually were.

    Yes, my hatred for these people burn bright.

  20. says

    If people believe this or that, I may be willing to live and let live, but beliefs so often end up trumping the lives of real people; friends and family. The structures of organized belief, placed beyond question and scrutiny, locks a person into a certain mindset, from which they can’t move. This results in a mind carved in stone, unable to adjust to a changing world. A mind that can’t deal with the fact that your child’s happiness might lie somewhere other than where yo originally thought.

    This is not unique to religion, but it is a quality often fond there. That’s what’s really wrong with religious ideas. It’s not just that they’re wrong, but that they’re stubbornly wrong. Even when your child comes to you and tells you what’s on their mind, you can’t accept it, because your thoughts have been poisoned by ideas shaped by people too narrow-minded to ever consider the possibility that they might be wrong.

    This is such a sad situation and the saddest part is that it was so easy to avoid.

  21. Josh Cole says

    Wow. This happened like, ten to fifteen minutes away from me. I live in Hamilton, and Union Township is like, right up the road. What a terrible thing for a child to go through, to be rejected by your parents for being who you are. Such a shame the only answer she could find was this. Shame on her parents for their ignorance, denial, and rejection of their own child.

  22. yuno says

    This woman never loved her child. She’s not shedding any tears for Leelah. She’s crying for the straight cismale she wanted her daughter to be. She’s mourning an imaginary person.

    I hope she fucking dies from her grief. Fuck.

  23. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    Gretchen, no you are not mistaken. Keeping quiet about the subject allows for the reason for the suicide to remain hidden. Most people who are trans (as well as being gay, lesbian or any non normative sexuality or gender) know of such stories. And keeping quiet will not help all of the other children who are currently in the same situation as Leelah.

    Please, keep talking about it. It is painful. It fucking hurts. But it must be done. Silence means that what Carla Wood Alcord did to her daughter is fine. And it fucking is not.

  24. lrak nnam says

    I hope this goes viral, it shows the danger and harm caused by religion incredibly well

  25. nich says

    Gretchen@23

    Am I mistaken about that?

    I don’t think so at all. I think it is far, far likelier that your messages will eventually reach somebody who is struggling like Leelah was and will hopefully encourage them to seek help OR perhaps better yet will convince people like Leelah’s parents of the harm they are causing with their shitty attitudes. I can’t imagine it would have taken much to talk Leelah out of the choice she felt compelled to make and the fact her parents couldn’t muster one iota of caring to do it is pretty disgusting.

  26. nich says

    I hope she fucking dies from her grief. Fuck.

    No. I hope she sees what an awful fucking person she has been and drags herself across the country, church by fucking church, and does her damnedest to do for others what she failed to do for her own child.

  27. nich says

    Actually, dumping this all on the mom is wrong. Leelah had a father too. My apologies for the mild sexism.

  28. Moggie says

    Gretchen, you’re not wrong. Speaking as someone who has been suicidal (starting when I was a teenager), the idea that suicide can be “glamorous” has always been ludicrous to me. I think it’s actually more likely that sharing this message will save lives. Either a trans kid will find fresh resolve reading of Leelah’s suffering, or a parent will be horrified by the suicide note and will sit down for a heartfelt talk with their kid.

  29. yuno says

    I’m sorry. I don’t really want someone else to die. I just get really emotional about stuff like this.

  30. Saad says

    She still refers to her as “he”. She still doesn’t get it. Her daughter was driven to kill herself violently and her response still centers around the very cause of the tragedy. How can a parent’s response when their young child reaches out to them like this not be “I’m with you 100% and will be right by your side every step of the way”? Instead, she does the complete opposite. WTF…

    I second Janine and nich: sharing these stories (with consent) is only a good thing. Just like Leelah had a moment of relief when she learned that transgender is a normal thing, other people who are suffering under similar circumstances or even those who are causing that suffering to their loved ones can have epiphanies after reading such stories.

  31. frugaltoque says

    Gretchen@23
    >> Am I mistaken about that?
    If we were worried that a major cause of teen suicide is vindictive, spiteful teenagers who will be thinking, “Yeah, I totally wanna burn my stupid parents on the Internet like Leelah did!”, then we might have a problem.
    I’m not a teen psychologist, nor was I ever a suicidal teenager, but I suspect that’s not a significant problem.
    People saying this might just be reflexively wishing the problem would go away. “Denial is a part of grieving” and all that.

  32. says

    azhael

    Unfortunately, there’s probably no voice, or if there is they may be able to silence it…
    In their eyes, none of this is their fault.

    *sigh*
    You’re probably right.
    I was thinking of parents in terms of myself. If one of my kids committed suicide I’d forever ask myself if there was anything I could have done to prevent this. OTOH I’m from a family where love was very conditional myself.

  33. busterggi says

    When parents virtually shove their daughter in front of a truck they deserve no sympathy for their loss.

  34. Josh Cole says

    @busterggi

    Actually disagree. They deserve sympathy, but also the shame in knowing that they lost their daughter due to their actions. No one should ever have to face losing a child, regardless of the circumstances, and I am sorry that she chose to take her own life, and am sorry that her parents must now deal with this loss, but I also hope that they feel shame for it, as it was squarely their fault.

  35. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    Nich, the only reason I have not dumped on Leelah’s father by name is because I do not know it. He is just as responsible for passively killing Leelah as the mother is.

  36. yuno says

    I hope she sees what an awful fucking person she has been and drags herself across the country, church by fucking church, and does her damnedest to do for others what she failed to do for her own child.

    Won’t happen, sadly. That would mean realizing that the son they thought they had never existed, realizing the pain they caused Leelah, realizing that she killed herself at least partially because of them. They’d have to be able to bear the vast psychological damage that comes with those realizations. I don’t think they’re capable of doing so.

  37. Sastra says

    She was indeed killed by a truck. And we can put a lot of names on that truck: Religion, Prejudice, Unkindness, Crappy Parenting. There are a lot of possibilities.

    But it was also an actual truck, so I’m going to spare a thought for the poor truck driver. He or she is probably shattered. Leelah’s parents bear responsibility for that one, too.

  38. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    What Gretchen mentions in #23 is not without merit.

    Publishing suicide notes is cited as one of the biggest no-nos when reporting a suicide, for reasons she mentions. I’ll google a bit and post some sources. So let’s not oversimplify the issue like frugaltoque does in #37.

    Of course, nothing is ever simple, since in this case not publishing the note looks like a bigger transgression. Leelah was denied by her parents in both life and death, as many other trans children and adults are, and this is the only way her voice could get out, representing in a way a number of others.

  39. Moggie says

    “Christian therapists”? The very concept is horrifying. I really can’t find the words to describe how I despise that idea.

  40. frankgturner says

    @phere # 9
    It’s been a while since I have posted on any of these, this story got my heart strings pulled (and I don’t react heavily emotionally to things).
    I have a transgender friend (male to female) whom I think of as female, now. Before I am not really sure if I thought of “her” as a “him.” In many ways she does not really care how I refer to her (most of the time as a female). She sees herself as a person who “happens to be” born a male but who “happens” to have female tendencies. To me what matters is that she is a friend.
    .
    As a scientist that makes sense to me as I worked with rodents in a neuroscience lab once with certain brain structure aspects that could indicate if one was male vs. female “in general” and that the brain structure might not match the genitals from time to time. (Article: http://www.cam.ac.uk/research/news/males-and-females-differ-in-specific-brain-structures). And this said nothing of intersex animals which I did not even study.
    .
    What English lacks is much like what Romance languages lack, words that are not gender specific that are in common use. I have heard of “shim” instead of “he” or “she,” but that won’t come into common usage. Heck some people might even find that insulting. (In the context of abortion rights, I can understand why they might).
    .
    When it all comes down to it, there are a lot of people whom I don’t really tie down in my mind ot thinking of them as male or female in a number of contexts, I think of them as people. It would not really matter to me what their genitals or gender is in those contexts. (Obviously if we are talking about the ability to give birth or women’s rights when it comes to abortion, I DO think of people as male or female in that context). Unfortunately we don’t have gender neutral words for gender neutral contexts.

  41. Michael says

    #43 You beat me to it. Others above have said what I would have, but I would like to add that I hope the driver/truck company are made aware that it was a suicide. I would hate to be the driver, have the guilt of having killed someone, and possibly lose my job because of the delays and damage. Suicide is a tragedy, but I would try to pick a method that would have the least impact on other people.

  42. Intaglio says

    There’s nothing to be said about the depth of denial that Leelah’s parents have sunk to. They will no doubt be counselled by those same Christian counsellors who so miserably failed their child.

    The local TV and school have also insisted it was Joshua who committed suicide – presumably so they don’t cause additional pain to her parents.

  43. John Horstman says

    I’m crying.

    Leelah’s suicide is another drop in the bucket of horrendous violence perpetuated against the queer, the deviant, the marginalized. I’m glad she doesn’t have to live a life she finds unbearable any more, I just wish that she had some option for doing so that allowed her to stay alive, that at least one of the life options she saw for herself was a good and happy life, on the balance. I will never stop trying to make that an option, nor trying to convince everyone on the planet that this should be a statement they can honestly make.

  44. frugaltoque says

    I didn’t intend to oversimplify.
    If there’s an expert opinion on the suicides of transgender teens, and that person says that the research shows that publishing this note is going to cause more copycat deaths rather than save lives through awareness, then I would certainly defer to that expert.
    Without such research, though, I’m going to argue that ignorance is rarely the right answer and awareness should be our default. Let other kids know that they aren’t alone. Get them talking. Give them places to reach out to.

  45. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    This breaks my heart.

    I just had a talk with my daughter who identifies as gender fluid and pansexual about whether or not she’d prefer we stop calling her “she”. She explained that she leans more feminine than not and though her friends call her “bro” and “dude” sometimes, she doesn’t really have any fucks to give about pronouns.

    This isn’t hard. All you have to do is love and respect your kids. Even if you don’t understand, you can trust. They’ll tell you how they feel if you will let them.

  46. frankgturner says

    @ Intaglio # 49
    It sounds as though those “Xtian” counselors live in the same inflexible isolated mega church Xtian world that the parents do. I think this is what bothers me the most about Xtianity, the attempt to insist that everything follow a pre-conceived model of how the world works or is “suppossed” to work and then anger and hatred when something does not follow that model. Sooner or later something is not going to fit the model that one has of the world. I admit it is tough to change one’s internal models and alter the way one speaks, but couldn’t we insist that people expose themselves to other cultures and other ways of thinking so they get it into their thick heads that not everyone thinks alike?

  47. azhael says

    @49

    The local TV and school have also insisted it was Joshua who committed suicide

    How utterly and pathetically predictable…

  48. frankgturner says

    @Jackie # 52
    I say “I love you man” to people all the time. One at works says, “but I am a woman.” My response is, “so ‘I love you person’?” I am not saying that identifying as male or female is not important, it is. That is nice to hear about your,… offspring. :-)

  49. Jackie the social justice WIZZARD!!! says

    I’m very grateful for the trans folks who educated me. They were the ones to explain the realities of gender when I was ignorant.

    I have a son who used to wear dresses. It turned out he was not trans at all, but liked the clothes. He identifies as a boy and is the only 11 yr old I know who wears bow ties and asks fr dress clothes for his birthday.

    That may change. I don’t care.

    It turned out to be my daughter who wore dresses all throughout her childhood who does not identify as her assigned gender.

    That may change. I don’t care.

    I just want them to love themselves and know that their family loves them too. Why is that so hard for some people?

  50. frankgturner says

    @Jackie #56

    I just want them to love themselves and know that their family loves them too. Why is that so hard for some people?

    .
    I am not saying that this justifies what the family did in any way shape or form, but I think I have a response to your question. This is just speculation, but I think that it was hard for the parents to tell the child to love herself and that they parents would love her too, because the parents don’t love themselves.
    .
    I propose that parents who don’t love themselves and live in a delusion in order to function teach a child to not love themself either, and if the child can’t maintain the delusion can’t function. Though not a complete dichotomy, I can easily imagine not loving oneself and being non functional to turn into self hatred. And in some ways the parents may have a bit of self hatred too. Like I said ythis is speculation and I feel very sorry for her. Many of us could haved loved her for who she is and she probably did not know we would support her.

  51. Gregory Greenwood says

    I have no words for how horrible this is. No one should suffer as Leelah suffered. Her parents did not deserve her, and did not derserve to be parents at all.

    The local TV and school have also insisted it was Joshua who committed suicide – presumably so they don’t cause additional pain to her parents.

    One more reason to hate the christofascist media.

  52. says

    Jackie
    *fistbump*
    You’re completely right. Who knows what they still have in stock, what rides they are taking us on*. Whatever way they go, I’ll be glad to have the privilege to go with them.

    +++
    As other’s have said, my heart goes out to the driver, too. Even if they know and are aware that it was a suicide and that there was nothing they could have done to prevent it, what a horrible thing to live with.

    ++++
    *I expect that with increased awareness and queer-friendly spaces more people will identify outside of the narrow cis-spectrum because they realize that there are more niches than the bad old straight cis one

  53. Thomathy, Such A 'Mo says

    frankgturner, there is a small and important difference between what you do when saying, ‘I love you man.’ and what someone is doing when they tell people the pronouns/gender(s) or lack thereof with which they identify and want to be identified by.

    Surely, I don’t need to spell it out? Yeah, people get to choose how they identify and how others identify them. The polite thing to do is to abide by that person’s wishes. There’s actually no comparison to what Jackie’s daughter is doing when she says she doesn’t give any fucks about pronouns and you uttering your catch phrase.

    That woman who says she’s a woman, you should respect that. It’s really easy to do and it has zip to do with you and that phrase you like to toss around.

  54. says

    That’s my daughter’s name. She’s four. And she has more compassion in her left toe than those parents do combined.

    Can’t decide between rage and … actually there’s just rage.

  55. Gen, Uppity Ingrate and Ilk says

    just want them to love themselves and know that their family loves them too. Why is that so hard for some people?

    Complete WORD. Why is this basic love of your child, whoever they may turn out to be, so hard for some people? One of my biggest fears for my kids is that they go through something bad, like realising they’re gay or trans or falling pregnant, and not tell me about it so I can help them and support them, even if there isn’t anything concrete I can actually do, just so they won’t be alone. One of my greatest wishes for my children is to know that I will always love them and will never throw them out or withdraw my love. If my kids hadn’t learned this, I have failed.

  56. Thomathy, Such A 'Mo says

    frankgturner @ #57

    While that’s an interesting idea, I think it can be fairly certainly said that any inability to love themselves that the parents had is not really the contributing factor to the life of abject hatred and rejection that Leelah was forced to live. That is purely the doing of neglect, ignorance, fear and hatred mixed together with fervent religious belief that served (likely in large part) as justification for Leelah’s treatment.

    To answer Jackie’s question, it’s so hard for some people because we live in a hateful world and it’s difficult to rise above that. Some people, like Leelah’s parents, are so thoroughly inculcated into the culture and religion of the hateful world that they won’t ever rise above it or see anything differently. Frankly, from where they are, there’s no reason to either. It’s pretty good for people like Leelah’s parents in that world. It’s sick and sad.

  57. Tentative Feminist says

    conorhall@22: after “Superstorm” Sandy I read an article about how all the worthy Christians out there were helping all sorts of businesses, individuals and charities that were affected, but unaccountably failing to volunteer to help the Ali Forney Center, which had suffered serious damage, so I sent them something. I don’t live anywhere near NY so have never encountered them myself, but I thought they were good enough to give my money to. Certainly willing to be corrected by someone with personal experience that would contradict, though.

  58. says

    @7:

    More like “this year.”

    This was not the only time this happened this year, nor this month, nor possibly even this week. Suicide rates are terribly high among trans people, particularly young trans people. Most of our stories do not get spread so widely, especially when parents do everything they can to hide our identities and lives in death, but they are very similar to Leelah’s and they happen often.

    This is the saddest thing I have heard today, but I can’t even be sure I won’t hear of another story of a trans person dead before the year ends. I just hope the future brings opportunity to change the world that would rather see us death than acknowledge who we are.

  59. Hairhead, whose head is entirely filled with Too Much Stuff says

    I am 57, and my Dad is now 93. When I was growing up, he was a minister; before that, in the Army. So of course he found my long hair and relaxed social and sexual attitudes threatening. For a period of about twenty years I spoke to him maybe once a year.

    But when he was 75, and began to feel the approach of Death, he changed. He began to end every phone call with, “I love you, son.” And over time, we became close. And I asked him once what caused the change. He told me, “It was when I realized that there was nothing more important in the world than simple, unconditional love between people.” Shit, I’m tearing up.

    He has Alzheimer’s now and is institutionalized, but at this point he still recognizes me and says, “I love you, son” when I leave. I wish Leelah could have had that.

  60. shouldbeworking says

    Recently we had a debate about GSA organizations being allowed in schools. There are people in and out of the Alberta Government and Legislature who think Gay-Straight Alliances in Alberta schools somehow infringe on parental rights. I hope that this sad event opens a few eyes and minds to reality.

  61. says

    This is sad and infuriating at the same time. It is now clearer than ever that so-called christian reparative therapists should be outlawed, and why several states in the US are banning these pseudo-therapies. Real therapists and trans support groups, based on science rather than superstition, could have helped. Parents will have to live with causing this. This is a tragedy and I am moved to tears. I will just share this with you: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PRhKvuh2Lss

  62. Rachel: astronomy nerd and estrogen addict says

    This is no different from any other case where a child died because their parents refused them proper treatment. Leelah’s parents are absolutely disgusting excuses for human being for what they did to her, and it’s only icing on the cake that are trying to erase her. Religious conversion therapy needs to be completely banned, and it’s terrible that her parents would rather erase and bury her than accept her for who she is.

  63. AlexanderZ says

    And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch
    Ages come and go, gods change, but parents keep killing their own children in the name of their god.

  64. AlexanderZ says

    Michael #48

    Suicide is a tragedy, but I would try to pick a method that would have the least impact on other people.

    As a person who have attempted suicide I can safely say that death is the one time when we can allow ourselves to inconvenience others. Yes, the driver might have some trouble. A little bit. But s/he have a lifetime to get over it. Leelah doesn’t.

  65. AlexanderZ says

    btw, the mother has closed her FB page. Don’t be surprised if a week from now she’ll be appearing on Fox as a victim of LGBT persecution.

  66. AlexanderZ says

    The parents’ info revealed [Nope, not gonna play that game. –pzm].
    (sorry for spamming)

  67. Argent Zendik says

    Is it really appropriate to spread around her parents personal contact information like that? I don’t see how harassing these people, disgusting as they are, will help anything or anyone. If anything, it will just give them ammunition to play the victim.

  68. blf says

    AlexanderZ@76, That link contains stuff such as the family‘s address, phone numbers, and other details. Whether or not any of that “information” is correct, that link is neither germane nor appropriate. No matter how awful and cruel some members of that family are there is no need for that to have been either posted or shared.

  69. Crip Dyke, Right Reverend Feminist FuckToy of Death & Her Handmaiden says

    ConorHall, #22:

    Can someone recommend a worthy organization to honor her wishes by donating to?

    How about the Sylvia Rivera Law Project? Here’s a more general write up from the Pffft!

    PFLAG is actually usually ahead of the curve in effecting change among individuals that are in the position to cause the most damage. They’ll actually talk to your relatives if you ask them to, and do some of the education work you’d otherwise have to do yourself. Since they aren’t you, they can also sometimes convince folks who are willing to write you off individually as “troubled” or whatever. They still don’t escape the hyper-skeptical assertions of bias, but it’s way better than doing it yourself for both effectiveness reasons and spoon-costs.

    More generally, I feel absolutely no joy at Leelah’s parents’ pain, but unlike with other mourners, I feel no generosity either.

    Whatever pain they’re feeling, it ain’t punishment. It ain’t unjust (or justice). This is just natural fucking consequences, people.

    Ugh.

  70. blf says

    AlexanderZ, That’s called a Lynch Mob. That link is just as cruel and thoughtless as the parent’s actions.

  71. Tentative Feminist says

    blf@69, thank you: I should have clicked on the link in the preview. Argh.

  72. kellyw. says

    Perhaps, AlexanderZ. Or maybe the driver wont get over it. Suicide often has a rippling effect.
    —————————-
    How shitty for her parents to cut off all means of support and love. Who can do that to their child? Leelah’s parents failed. Society continues to fail. How horrible it is that her only option was to die. To live a life of misery or to avoid misery through death is not a choice. Now is not the time to avoid talk on suicide. I’ve been in the abyss. Not exactly sure how I didn’t try to kill myself…but when I was there mentally, suicide was a logical solution. I had support. Leelah did not. She did not have her needs met.

    What a nightmare.

  73. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    As a person who have attempted suicide I can safely say that death is the one time when we can allow ourselves to inconvenience others. Yes, the driver might have some trouble. A little bit. But s/he have a lifetime to get over it.

    Ahem

  74. cicely says

    This…hurts.
    So.
    Much.

    beergoggles:

    Who knew murderers could grieve for the people they kill.

    Except that they are grieving for the imaginary son they wish they’d had, instead of the daughter they did have.
    But it’s okay now—their imaginary son is with their Imaginary Friend in his Imaginary Place.

    Gretchen, in my opinion, you did right.
    Sweeping it under the rug only allows society in general to Pretend It Never Happened.
    As many thousands of times as necessary.
    Individual minor instances—however many there may be—don’t add up to a cohesive, and damning, picture at all.

  75. Intaglio says

    A note about Leelah’s method

    People choose whatever method is easiest at the time. Reading her note you will see that she had not made an absolute decision at the time of writing and may have gone out of her house trying to clear her mind. She would have walked, hoping to find some way out of the foul cave of depression, hoping to find a reason to live. When the final collapse of hope came it could have been at a cliff top or by a rail road track or, as in her case, by the side of the interstate all that she wanted was for the end to be certain and quick.

    Yes, I’ve been near that point myself but was lucky and found my spark.

  76. AlexanderZ says

    “Play”?

    Whatever. The important thing is that at least I’ve contacted some associated places (which obviously won’t be named now). Hopefully they’ll at least release a statement, if nothing else.

  77. frankgturner says

    @ Thomathy # 60
    I think we are on the same page more than you think we are. If you read # 46 I respond to phere in # 9 where I talk about a friend of mine whom I DO refer to as “she” who is a male to female transgender (actually I just tend to think of this individual as female most of the time nowadays). Even if my friend were male and not transgendered, but wanted to be referred to by the female pronoun, I would do that.
    .
    What I was getting at with Jackie in response to # 52 is that I put the fact that a person is a human being and a friend before anything else. I think it is awesome that her daughter does not care as to whether she is called “he,” “she,” “bro,” or “dude.” I wish that more people were like that but not everyone is, as indicated by the person that I mentioned at work. I don’t mind changing what I say to suit someone at all. Pardon if it sounded more like a complaint.

  78. F.O. says

    Fuck. I’m almost crying.
    I want to grab her parents shake them and scream to their faces “You killed her! You fucking killed your daughter”. But I’m sure that they are already being covered in insults, more than is legit but less than they deserve.

    Wiser things have been already said in the thread, I just…
    What’s the fucking big deal with one’s sexuality? Why do people feel so threatened with allowing others to live their life as they want?
    Seriously, what’s the big deal if your son wants to be a daughter?

    I really want to share this.
    What is the consensus?
    Will share the suicide note do more good or more harm?

  79. frankgturner says

    @Thomathy # 64

    While that’s an interesting idea, I think it can be fairly certainly said that any inability to love themselves that the parents had is not really the contributing factor to the life of abject hatred and rejection that Leelah was forced to live.

    .
    The “inability to love themselves” comment was an understatement. I tend to think of people like Leelah’s parents as sick assholes but I don’t want to paint everyone with a broad brush so I am opened to the idea that they may not be the type of people that I tend to think of in this regard. Your statement of:

    That is purely the doing of neglect, ignorance, fear and hatred mixed together with fervent religious belief that served (likely in large part) as justification for Leelah’s treatment.

    is more of how I tend to think of people like what I am hearing described.
    .
    In many ways I see,

    the culture and religion of the hateful world that they won’t ever rise above it or see anything differently.

    as a culture of the inability to love oneself, and that world as the delusion that allows them to function that Leelah did not have. I would think that this would result in self hatred that I suspect Leelah’s parents have on a deeper level. Their god and the way they worship him is basically a projection of that.
    .
    I think again we are more on the same page than you think we are, I am just expressing it in softer tones, I agree with you that

    It’s sick and sad

    .
    .
    Many of us on here were part of that too, so we know first hand. Dr. Ryan Craygun makes a great description of people who think like this in a recent episode of The Thinking Atheist. I will have to post a link to the episode at some point.

  80. Rachel: astronomy nerd and estrogen addict says

    I’d like to at least see that the media that are reporting the suicide using her name Leelah and her female pronoun outnumbers the media outlets using her old name/pronouns.

  81. conorhall says

    Thanks for the links fellow Pharyngulites. A clueless cis-het male, a quick google search left me scratching my head. Looks like I’ll be giving a small donation to SRLP.

  82. Michael says

    @74 “As a person who have attempted suicide I can safely say that death is the one time when we can allow ourselves to inconvenience others. Yes, the driver might have some trouble. A LITTLE BIT. But s/he have a lifetime to get over it. Leelah doesn’t.”

    As someone else who has attempted suicide as a teenager, I’m afraid I disagree, and I find your lack of empathy for the driver callous. I don’t find it difficult to imagine that having someone’s body parts sprayed over the front of your truck would leave you traumatized and unable to drive again. Not to mention nightmares, PTSD, and perhaps alcoholism. I could also imagine scenarios where the incident cannot be forgotten, eg. that was the driver’s birthday, anniversary, child/relative’s birthday, etc.

    I accept #86’s comment that people will take advantage of whatever method is easiest/most convenient. That is especially true of teenagers, who often don’t realize that death is the end for them, period. You often hear of the meme “Just wait, once I’m dead, that’ll show them…” without them realizing that they won’t be able to take satisfaction in the lesson they ‘taught’ their tormenters. However, if I were to contemplate suicide again – which I won’t – I would try not to personally involve random strangers in my death, or make finding my body too traumatic for those I care about (eg. no shots to the head in my own house).

  83. plainenglish says

    They took Leelah to Christian therapists…..Christian therapists = bible battering = bullying called love = further estrangement and pain = isolation because love is ABSENT.

    Fuck you Christian asshole fucks who put the love of your child second to your love of God. FUCK YOU, you fucking assholes. You are so damaged you cannot even embrace your own child without making it delusion/God. Fuck off. I am very sorry for this child who was not loved but indoctrinated into woo-woo.

    I am very sorry that the pain now ripples out among us all because fucking pricks call their HARM Christian love. Why would you expose a child with these needs to a Christian therapist except to torture them further, except to bury your own refused pain by further punishing that child you are unable to love. FUCK YOU. What a fucking horror story.

    Christianity when translated through the wonky Christian American mind becomes punishment for children, endless punishment. This poor child was punished to death. To the parents: FUCK YOU. You only needed to love Leelah, to be with your child and not say No, not judge, not be too afraid. Rather than come to you and just be held for comfort against the unanswerable questions, she chose a fucking truck, a fucking truck.

    Oh fuck you, in Jesus’ name…. fuck you. Leelah is gone. I read her words and know that I would have liked her as she was…. Maybe Christians should try liking people instead of loving them. Christian love is fucking dangerous, a scourge.

  84. rhebel says

    OMG, late to the party. Dated this woman long ago. Behind her uber minister fathers back. She was banned from seeing me after he found out I took her to a (gasp!) dance at a nearby town. Thought she had broken free of the cult, but really never kept in touch. So saddened.

  85. says

    considering that nearly every tweet on Doug’s (Leelah’s father) has a bunch of people calling him a murder for driving his daughter to suicide…. and that both of their facebook pages have been locked up with basically no public posts anymore (when the post from the screencap is shown as public) i’m pretty sure they know by now….

    they might be able to find instant forgiveness from their imaginary friend… but the rest of the world has let them know that we’re not ok with what they did…. i’m kinda sad i didn’t get to see all the comments that must have flooded that post once it was found. i have no sympathy for the cis parents that drive their trans children to suicide. and really no sympathy for cis parents of trans children under any other circumstances. fuck cis people. i hated most all of you i ever ended up knowing.

  86. says

    The following is the only thing I can put down that doesn’t devolve into meaningless, curse-laden, ranting nonsense.

    This is the first I’m hearing of this. I can’t put into words how I feel, except that it’s not good.

    I want to go off on an anti-theistic rant right now, even though I know that’s about as inappropriate as all hell right now. I just don’t know what else to say or do. God Leelah. I feel so much right now. I hate her parents so much, and how her mother posted about it just… what… I…

  87. Shiroferetto says

    #102 Sophi:

    Yanno, hating on CIS-gendered people is just as fucking stupid as hating on transpersons. My husband happens to be CIS, and he’s a nice man who has sympathy for LGBTQ. And since he’s married to someone who’s genderfluid–AND accepted me for who I am no matter what–I’d say that’s a damned fine thing.

    The CIS hate has to stop. It’s not a person’s gender that makes them act like douchebags. It’s the sum total of their life experiences that make people like Leelah’s parents douche out and kill their kids with disapproval and Xtianity.

    So lay off. You’re a fucking bigot.

  88. says

    Why is this basic love of your child, whoever they may turn out to be, so hard for some people?

    That’s because many people start put with a fundamentally wrong and harmful attitude about parenting.
    They don’t have kids because they want to accompany a brand new individual on their way through life. They want grandkids. They want somebody to carry on the family name. They want somebody to take over the family business. They want soldiers for Christ. They want somebody to live their dream. They want a son so they can play *** with him.
    And if the kid fails to live up to that, the fault is with the kid.
    And the narrower the parents’ dream is, the more harm they cause. It’s not something unique to religious families, but certainly something more prevalent.

    Sophi Daniels
    If you’re a trans* person who undoubtely suffered under cis people and transphobia you have my sympathies. I understand your pain and anger. But the way the world is, most tran* kids will be raised by cis parents. Most queer kids will be raised by straight parents. And yes, it’s our job to make life safer and better for them. But simply hating them not matter what they do just for the fact that they’re existing isn’t going to do shit for trans* kids either.

  89. Intaglio says

    Let’s face it the parents will feel real grief and, despite their role in this tragedy, we should recognise that. It is right to feel angry that they so failed in their duties as parents and even that they lacked the empathy to see how Leelah was suffering but pouring hatred, curses and damnation upon them will not help and might even lead to a further tragedy. What such actions will not do is disable the teachings that they follow and the networks that justify such actions.

    Hatred and vitriol should not be directed at them but rather at the church that led them to the abuse of their daughter and the Christian “therapists” who enabled and assisted in that abuse. The religions or other world views that loathe the different, deny reality and call hatred love are to blame and must be opposed. It is of little use to isolate the followers of faith and force them into acting as if besieged because that is what the leaders of these cults want; look at the rhetoric about how Christians are oppressed. The leaders will teach their followers that everything outside of the womb of the cult threatens them and we must not give any reason for the individuals trapped by the cult to feel that is true.

  90. says

    Intaglio

    Hatred and vitriol should not be directed at them but rather at the church that led them to the abuse of their daughter and the Christian “therapists” who enabled and assisted in that abuse.

    Fucking no.
    They are adults. They had a choice in this. They chose to send Leelah to those “therapists” fully aware of the “service” they would provide. Those “therapists” delivered exactly what the parents wanted. That doesn’t let the “therapists” off the hook, but stop excusing the parents. They may be grieving, but Leelah is dead.

  91. Intaglio says

    There are many things that I agree with you about but on this we definitely diverge. Note I am not trying to absolve the parents from blame but rather saying that the expression of that blame must not feed into the narrative that Christians as individuals are oppressed. Saying “it is your fault your child has died” is fine, calling them murderers and torturers is not.

    Are the brainwashed responsible for their actions? I’m not sure that they are. The brainwashers, on the other hand need to be stopped and for that we need to remove their followers from their control. If atheists and others fulfil the stereotype that we just hate the followers then the leaders will keep their power.

  92. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Trans hatred especially is hardly confined to the religious. We’re talking about a minority that gets battered from all sidesand whilethe religious use their god as an excuse, without it there would be nature and biology for most of the haters

  93. kellyw. says

    Intaglio, does that not then give a free pass for any kind of bigotry? Everybody is brainwashed…nobody escapes it. That’s why isms and phobias are prevalent in society. I think that once a person reaches adulthood, they have an obligation to work at undoing all the shit in their brains, whether religious, transphobic, racist, ableist, homophobic, biphobic, sexist and so on. People need to own their shit, even if they aren’t leaders.

  94. Matt G says

    When your child needs therapy, take him/her to a therapist whose ONLY agenda is to help your kid, not to push your religion.

  95. Iain Walker says

    Beatrice (#114):

    whilethe religious use their god as an excuse, without it there would be nature and biology for most of the haters

    Or more to the point, Nature™ and Biology™, two imaginary entities constructed out of essentialist superstitions, authoritarian prejudices and a host of other biases and fallacies.

  96. plainenglish says

    To choose to take a child suffering as Leelah was, to a Christian therapist is to choose torture for your child, not help, not nurture and acceptance. Intaglio, it is torture done in God’s name, bless holy fucking Jesus/Mohammed or whomever.

    I grew up in a Baptist preacher’s home. Brainwashing is a good word, yes, and torture is the feeling within the ongoing process of brainwashing. Leelah’s parents are suffering now and Leelah is gone. It was fucking torture, Intaglio. Have the heart to say the truth.

    Christians who will not nurture but instead correct in God’s name begin the process of brainwashing with their pretty little tortures first, the hand-slaps or whatever but that graduates to further and further abuse. It is active harm done for a purpose. And it feels good to hurt others, to bully as a congregation. It is God’s Love. Amen.

  97. says

    INtaglio

    Are the brainwashed responsible for their actions? I’m not sure that they are. The brainwashers, on the other hand need to be stopped

    At which point did Eric Hovind stop being the brainwashed victim of Kent Hovind and became a weapons grade liar, bullshitter and brainwasher in his own right? Or do you not consider him such? I he not to be held responsible for the things he does, for the brains he washes?

  98. carlie says

    Shiroferetto – this is not the time/place to have hurt feelings that a trans person is lashing out against cis people. Do you remember the “die cis scum” blowup a couple of years ago? Focusing on shaking your finger at the non-politeness or the “unfairness” of a raw expression of pain and oppression is really missing the mark. As previously said, If you’re more offended by ‘die cis scum’ than by people dying and being constantly abused, harassed, and threatened for simply existing, then you are no ally. If you’re angry that some trans people hate cis people, then work on changing the minds of the cis people so they don’t give trans people reasons to hate them.

  99. carlie says

    …And I saw that you listed yourself as genderfluid, so I understand that you’re not coming at this from a purely cis perspective, and I’m not trying to lecture – it’s just that right when someone finds out that yet another person has killed themselves due to harassment, I don’t think it’s fair to chastise anyone for the initial form that their grief and frustration takes, so long as it’s not directed towards actually harming a specific person. Comments in this post are still in the shock and outrage phase, not the strategizing for sociopolitical change phase.

  100. says

    Intaglio #113:

    Are the brainwashed responsible for their actions? I’m not sure that they are. The brainwashers, on the other hand need to be stopped and for that we need to remove their followers from their control. If atheists and others fulfil the stereotype that we just hate the followers then the leaders will keep their power.

    Yes, the adult ‘brainwashed’ are responsible for their own actions. These people haven’t merely spouted off about something in the abstract. Faced with a child in need of help, they made a choice to ignore what that child was telling them about her own lived experience. Nor have they lived in some absolute theocracy where they had no access to other points of view.

    I’m curious, though. Would you take this tack if they had a more directly hands-on involvement in their daughter’s death? If they’d killed their daughter for being a witch, say? The couple who committed that crime were equally brainwashed, after all.

  101. blf says

    AlexanderZ@83, No, you are making sure Leelah’s bothers and sisters will very probably be harassed, and possibly threatened — or worse. You are acting as a judge, without a jury or trial, and all but promoting extra-Judaical killing. By a Lynch Mob.

  102. David Marjanović says

    God doesn’t make mistakes? Somebody makes mistakes, Mrs. and Mr. Alcorn. Somebody does.

    This woman never loved her child. She’s not shedding any tears for Leelah. She’s crying for the straight cismale she wanted her daughter to be. She’s mourning an imaginary person.

    Exactly.

    “Christian therapists”? The very concept is horrifying. I really can’t find the words to describe how I despise that idea.

    QFT.

    What English lacks is much like what Romance languages lack, words that are not gender specific that are in common use. I have heard of “shim” instead of “he” or “she,” but that won’t come into common usage.

    Why not simply “they”? Many trans and nonbinary people (not all) are already using this as their preferred English pronoun.

    *I expect that with increased awareness and queer-friendly spaces more people will identify outside of the narrow cis-spectrum because they realize that there are more niches than the bad old straight cis one

    Definitely.

    “And thou shalt not let any of thy seed pass through the fire to Moloch
    Ages come and go, gods change, but parents keep killing their own children in the name of their god.

    So true.

  103. Saad says

    Intaglio, #113

    Are the brainwashed responsible for their actions? I’m not sure that they are.

    What do you mean by brainwashed in this case?

  104. says

    In comment #45:

    Christian therapists”? The very concept is horrifying. I really can’t find the words to describe how I despise that idea.

    This blatant misuse of “therapy” was also mentioned in #99, #118 and #124.

    Mormons also have special therapists. In the past, the mormon community has been known for sending transgender and gay persons to mormon therapists for treatment. Back in the 1970s, they even gave them shock treatment. There’s still a lot of mormon “therapy” to be had in the morridor.
    http://thinkprogress.org/lgbt/2013/04/01/1803071/new-mormon-ex-gay-therapy-website-is-rife-with-lies-and-stereotypes/

    http://abcnews.go.com/Health/mormon-gay-cures-reparative-therapies-shock-today/story?id=13240700

  105. says

    I’m utterly unsurprised, sadly. Quite disappointed to hear the response to understandable anger at cis sexism above was #NotAllCisPeople; surely we can be allowed a little reasonable anger that yet another of our trans siblings has been driven to take her own life, as the only tiny measure of control she had. What’s next, “it’s just a few bad apples”?

    We die, a lot. If we manage to get all the way to adulthood, and maybe even get to live as ourselves, we can still face a lifetime of terrifying danger, face (particularly trans WOC) the highest murder rate of any demographic, face every sort of aggression, from micro to brutal. Just yesterday, while driving home from the US, I was repeatedly misgendered by the clerk in Subway, despite correcting the asshole three times, the last of which he responded to with, “Ha ha, yeah right”. I transitioned 22 years ago, but I’m still not safe enough to not be careful about my appearance.

    As to the language in this thread – some of you need to get your fucking 101 on. We are not “male to female transgendereds”; we are transgender people, not embodied adjectives, and transition isn’t something that happens to us passively, it is an active choice. It’s no more appropriate than calling a Black person “coloured”. Also, our surgical status is not your fucking business, any more than it’s mine to know your penis bends downward, or that you have vaginismus.

    Ye gods and fishes, but it’d be nice someday to read a thread about trans people without it being a minefield of 1980s attitudes and language, and inevitably one of us having to come along to do the basics of educating everyone for them.

    This kind of thing is in no way uncommon, nor is it remotely limited to the religious, so a good number of you might want to dismount your faithful destrier High Dudgeon, and start addressing some of the killer attitudes which can be found readily in circles quite free of gods. My parents are atheists; after I came out to my mother, she told me not to contact them, and I heard not a fucking syllable for 12 years. Now we have an exchange of emails every few months. I’ve physically spent time with my mother for about four hours in those 22 years. I’ve not seen my sister at all, and my mother’s second husband hasn’t communicated with me in the full 22 years.

    Being shocked by any of this is flat-out cis privilege: no one who is not-cis can be surprised by it, in the same way that Black USan people can’t be surprised by extra judicial murder.

    Please educate yourselves, and start helping us to make room in society for people who aren’t cis, so that tomorrow’s Leelah won’t have to make the same desperate calculus.

    Look up the Trans Day of Remembrance, and find out how many of us have been murdered this year. Correct media sources when they misgender and misname our memories. Speak up when you hear someone making an anti-trans joke or comment or speculation about someone’s gender.

    If I’ve annoyed you with this comment, GOOD. I emphatically do not apologise. Take that annoyance and use it to fuel the burning off of your ignorance, and maybe tomorrow’s Leelah can make it to adulthood alive.

  106. conorhall says

    Thank you for sharing that CaitieCat, that’s the kind of post I keep coming back to Pharyngula for.

  107. raefn says

    This is so heartbreaking.

    The attempted suicide rate among transgendered people is 41%. ( http://endtransdiscrimination.org/PDFs/NTDS_Report.pdf ) That number includes my spouse (identifying as female), who is currently in prison for internet fraud. Her severe mental illness, from decades of trying to be male, drove that self-destructive behavior, and now my whole family suffers.

    I’m asking for help in making the world a better place for transgendered people. A parent of a transgender teen has created a form email to send to schools, encouraging school staff to create a safe place for LGBT students.

    http://sproggets.com/

    Please edit the email as needed, and send it to your school district. Our transgender teens are incredibly fragile, and they need all the support they can get.

  108. frankgturner says

    @Intaglio # 112

    Hatred and vitriol should not be directed at them but rather at the church that led them to the abuse of their daughter and the Christian “therapists” who enabled and assisted in that abuse

    You do realize that it is the followers of said church, such as Lellah’s parents but I am sure that there are others, that keep churches like that in power correct? There are not a whole lot of flat earthers around (I will acknowledge, there are some) that would keep a ministers of a church who preached a religious belief in flat earth in power. While sometimes leaders do have views different from their constituents who oppress the expression of alternate views, sometimes the leaders stay in poer because they reflect the views of the people whom they lead.
    .
    # 114

    Are the brainwashed responsible for their actions? I’m not sure that they are.

    It is hard to know how deeply one’s free will is involved in many things. It is why we have not guilty by reason of insanity situations and the establishment of mans rea in legal issues (albeit I am not an attorney so I only know so much about this).
    @kellyw #116 (this ties in with what I am saying here)

    Intaglio, does that not then give a free pass for any kind of bigotry? Everybody is brainwashed…nobody escapes it.

    I would not call us all “brainwashed,” but I would agree that we are all influenced by what we learn in the past and some more heavily than others. It all depends on how flexible one is willing to be with one’s development of one’s world view. It seems that despite being atheists and supposed “free thinkers,” many people on here are not as tolerant, flexible, or opened to others ways of thinking when it comes to many issues. As it does take followers in order to give a leader power, I will agree that,

    People need to own their shit, even if they aren’t leaders.

    People hold some responsibility for what they do, the defense of “I was only following orders” does not work.

  109. says

    Why do parents think they own their children? I’m a parent and I understand the bond, the complete feeling of protecting and nurturing, the bone-deep love.

    But I don’t understand the ownership. We each, alone, have to live our own life — we each have our own unique life, for god’s sake — so why did Leelah’s parents think it was their duty to turn their backs on their child? No, their duty was to listen, to support, to unconditionally love their child. If your child comes to you and tells you they are a different gender inside than out, then you believe them.

  110. frankgturner says

    @Gilliel # 120 and Daz # 123
    I heard it said, I think in an episode of The Atheist Experience, that many an apologist does not really make a solid case for what they say, they simply throw around a lot of smart sounding words and deepities to get people on the fence to come over to their side and make it “seem like” they have a smart position. William Lan Craig is mentioned as one of the worst offenders in this case. Tying this in to my own comments in #134, it I the followers of the church run by the brainwashers, the ministers, who give them power. The Hovind’s would be nothing if people did not follow them.
    .
    Leelah’s parents allowed themselves to be brainwashed. I was under the impression that the family lived in a community where they were never exposed to alternate ways of thinking but thank to your link in # 129 Gilliel I see that they WERE exposed to the idea of accepting their child the way she was and my softness in # 67 just flew out the window. (My apologies to you Thomathy). Plain English in # 100 expresses the monsters I think her parents turned out to be.
    .
    @Beatrice # 115

    Trans hatred especially is hardly confined to the religious. We’re talking about a minority that gets battered from all sides and while the religious use their god as an excuse, without it there would be nature and biology for most of the haters

    People will find whatever excuse they need to hate and feel like one is superior to others, identity and religion just make it easy because they are easy targets and training ground.
    .
    @ blf # 124
    I am not saying that this justifies what AlexanderZ said (he did stop), but with regards to,

    you are making sure Leelah’s bothers and sisters will very probably be harassed, and possibly threatened — or worse.

    They probably already are being harassed, by members of their congregation for having a trans child and by members of the community for not being more loving to that child. Hence why I agree that fuel does not need to be added to that flame.
    .
    @David Marjanovic # 125

    Why not simply “they”? Many trans and nonbinary people (not all) are already using this as their preferred English pronoun.

    I have heard that and my brain just does not want to do it, like there is something wrong with pluralizing the pronoun in order to get rid of the gender reference. I try to say it and my brain just fights me.
    .
    @Lynna OM # 128
    We need more states to ban the “ex-gay” therapy and shit like this like in California recently.
    @ CattieCat # 130
    I apologize for my previous usage of “male to female” transition terminology. My friend read it and she does not have a problem with it (in this context at least), but I will refrain from the usage out of respect for you.
    .
    @carlie # 133
    That totally rocks, the support numbers and correct gendering by Yahoo.

  111. frankgturner says

    @ Abby Franklin # 135

    Why do parents think they own their children?

    Dehumanizing other people and feeling like your superiority to them allows you to treat them like property comes in many shapes and sizes. Look at how prevalent slavery has been historically. It may sound strange to dehumanize one’s own child and feel like they are property, but people obviously do it. Maybe it comes from their dependence upon the parent that the parent feels a sense of superiority which leads to a feeling like the child is not an equal that leads to a feeling of ownership. It is sad, and it happens.

  112. samihawkins says

    This story has been affecting me since I first heard it yesterday. It’s just so tragic that this wonderful girl felt their was no choice but to take her own life. I’ve been in a similar situation, close to killing myself because I didn’t think I’d ever pass, and I only made it through because my parents were fully supportive. I can’t imagine how awful it must have been facing that without any support.

    Rest in peace Leelah. Your trans family will always remember you as the beautiful girl you were.

    I’d like to share two developments in this story:

    Good: I’ve seen multiple trans supportive charities springing up in Leelah’s honor as well as a petition to ban the christian ‘therapy’ her parents used against her. The most recent example I’ve stumbled onto is this:

    http://theleelahproject.com/

    It’s goal is to send basic packages of makeup, clothes, wigs, and a stuffed animal to trans women who can’t afford or are unable to access those things. It’s not much, but for a scared trans girl in a situation like Leelah’s having some way to express their true gender and knowing there’s people out their who accept and care about them can make a huge difference.

    Bad: The bigots have started their defense of Leelah’s shitstain parents:

    http://www.christianpost.com/news/did-christian-parents-drive-their-child-to-suicide-over-transgender-issues-131900/

    Summary: “They were right to treat their daughter* so horribly because there’s tons of people out their who regret transitioning** and this handful of cherry picked studies prove it.”

    What an awful human being. May history remember him and everyone like him as the horrible people they are.

    *Of course he misgenders her in the article.

    **Just like all those ex-gays that totally exist out their yet we never ever hear from any except for the same half dozen or so on the payroll of anti-gay organizations.

  113. marinerachel says

    It seems to me what Leelah needed was a safe place away from condemnation and access to puberty blockers so she didn’t feel rushed to transition. I wonder how I can facilitate those things for people who need them desperately.

  114. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    People, please stop linking to Leelah’s mother’s “reaction”. It is a fabrication.

    What Doug and Carla Wood Alcorn did was horrid enough, there is no need to made up stories and/or spread them.

  115. Rachel: astronomy nerd and estrogen addict says

    @140 and 142

    Apologies. Should have investigated harder. Well, PZ can delete my comment (and this one) with the twitter link.

  116. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    PZ pretty much just deletes comments by already banned people or comments that contain personal information.

    Do not expect him to take the time to search for such requests and act on them.

  117. says

    Sophi Daniels #103
    That’s fair. For what it’s worth, I’m sorry that the cis world’s been so shitty to you.

    Shioferetto,Sili, Chigau,
    Seriously? Fuck’s sake, we’ve all been through this one before, and you should know as well as I do that you can’t take it personally when people down the privilige curve get pissed off at the oppressing classes (whoever that may be, and even if you happen to belong to same).

    CaitieCat #130
    *applause*

  118. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    Seconding CaitieCat and carlie’s mention of “die cis scum”.

    I’m sorry for my strange last comment, I was writing from work, on my phone. But I think it was understandable.

  119. frankgturner says

    @ samihawkins # 138
    The post to the article of the conservative Xtians trying to defend the bullshit should not surprise anyone. They have to be right, about everything. If they are wrong once about anything, no matter how trivial and insignificant, then they are wrong about everything. Their god is just a projection of their own insecure personalities. Pulling a few cherry picked articles and studies out of a debunked pseudo-professional is nothing compared to the fallcies and lengths they will go to to push their propaganda.
    .
    On the bright side the support that the Leelah project is getting shows that the free market of ideas is working despite the conservative propaganda. The internet has probably been conservative Xtians biggest enemy. It is no wonder that Laalah’s parents wanted to isolate her from media to push their agenda. It is like the creationist parents who are dissappointed that their child learned biology properly by actually going on the internet and reading about it.

  120. Intaglio says

    I have not said that the parent’s are absolved from blame; I am saying that the extremes of verbal vitriol hosed in their direction are better directed elsewhere. I am not saying that “I was only obeying orders” is a valid excuse; I am saying that those who give the orders are more culpable than those who obey and thus are better targets for expressed hatred and loathing.

    I am not saying that the parents were entirely without will: I am saying that they had been advised (by their Church) that what they were doing was right. The case is similar to parents in the 1900s through to the 60s who were advised that the best place for their daughters were mental hospitals and Magdalene Laundries. Some of those parent’s were happy with the process but many were not, but were still advised that the doctors and prelates only wished the best for their daughters. From the point of view of Leelah’s parents the best advice they had was from the Christian community and they were horrifically and tragically wrong.

    Free will is often constrained by the information available and also by the inability to absorb information. Membership of a Church affects what information you trust, what information is available and what information is given. Throwing vituperation at Leelah’s parents allows the Church to say “Those Liberals hate church members so do not seek advice from them. Look what happened to the parents of …”

    We have to give rational minds the chance to intervene in the next case, because there will be a next case and if the parents of that future child are constrained from seeking that rational intervention there is a greater chance that it will, again, end in pointless sacrifice..

  121. A. Noyd says

    Shiroferetto (#105)

    Yanno, hating on CIS-gendered people is just as fucking stupid as hating on transpersons.

    Oh, piss off. Hating on cis people might make us feel a little sad, assuming we even notice. Hating on trans people (particularly women) all too often makes them dead. Hating on cis people comes from being hurt over and over and over after giving cis people the benefit of the doubt. Hating on trans people comes wholly from irrational fear. So the two types of hate are not “just as stupid” because they come from different places and have vastly different consequences.

  122. congenital cynic says

    As for the suicide, and the parental contribution, I think it has all been said. So I have nothing to add. Terrible parents, tragic death. I have a child with an unconventional sexual orientation, and her mother and I aren’t in the slightest concerned. She knows we back her completely.

    But when it comes to the truck driver, I have to agree with comment #99 (@Michael). I hope there is help for the driver of the truck. There was a documentary on CBC radio a few years back about how “jumpers” affected drivers on the Toronto subway system. In a nutshell, they don’t get over it. They do have PTSD, and depression, alcoholism and drug addiction issues. Even though they know in their rational brains that they couldn’t stop it, and aren’t responsible for the person’s actions, they know that their train killed someone. It’s a big issue. There are more jumpers than one would imagine, but you don’t hear about them in the news very often.

    I’m not saying that the girl had a lot of options when she decided to check out, but I do feel badly for the driver who became a player in a drama that never should have gone that far. I keep hearing Hitch’s book title in my head, “Religion Poisons Everything”. And it poisoned a lot in this case.

  123. says

    I don’t get it, when my 2 daughters were born all I cared about was that they were babies. As they grew up all I cared about was that they were happy and nobody hurt them. One is now an adult (or at least as adult as you get with me as an example) and the other is closing in quickly all I worry about is that whoever messes with them can be quickly disposed of on a dark night. They’re both under orders to date light people because I have a bad back and am not particularly interested in dissecting a corpse. Anyhoo, the one thing that’s never crossed my mind is telling them in which gender I prefer them to express themselves. I can’t think of anything that would matter less than whether they wanted to be called a male name and treated like a guy except maybe how much they adore Benedict Cumberbatch and Yaoi.

  124. Ragutis says

    Wow. Anyone catch the story on NBC Nightly? I have to say I’m pretty sorta kinda impressed . “Leelah Alcorn, whose parents referred to as Joshua” Her… her… her…her everywhere.

    Frankly, didn’t even think this would make a national nightly news show. If I find a link later tonight, I’ll post it.

  125. Shiroferetto says

    I’m definitely not going to apologize for not kowtowing to “die cis scum.” I don’t do hivemind, and even understanding where it comes from, I find it childish and stupid to throw hate on a part of a human being that they can’t change. Sure, angry at privilege. I get it. ALL WHITE PEOPLE SHOULD DIE. Is that how I should live my life?

  126. Grewgills says

    Trans “hate” for cis people…annoys cis people.

    I understand the need to vent and here is a safe place to do it, so it isn’t harming much of anything. That said, all of us here want the world to be a safer and better place for all people regardless of ethnicity, orientation, etc When ”die cis scum” comes out in a public forum it doesn’t help anything. Trans hate for cis people* hardens more hearts making reachable people less reachable and helps to make sure that cis hate for trans people holds on longer.

    * Not that common in my admittedly limited experience

  127. says

    So…now we’re responsible for the hatred for us too. What’s next, the implication that those who hate us are secretly self-hating trans folk?

    Fucking hell. Can I have the minefield back? At least in the minefield, I’m too focused on survival to listen to the fucking cissexist victim-blaming we’re getting here.

    Happy Fucking 2015, trans folk. Same as all the fucking others: continued dangerous, use caution while existing, and try not to hurt the delicate feefees of very sensitive cis people, who can be turned from ally to abuser by our mere unpleasantness.

    IOFW, fuck you, Grewgills.

    Fuck. You.

  128. Pteryxx says

    How do you like your quote now Grewgills?

    Cis hate for trans people* hardens more hearts making reachable people less reachable and helps to make sure that trans hate for cis people holds on longer.

    Oh, were those not the hearts you were worried about? Boo fucking hoo. You’re welcome.

  129. Rowan vet-tech says

    The anger is justifiable. I don’t think less of anyone not-cis because of people expressing that sentiment. Having people tell me that they wish I would die because I happen to be cis is hurtful, but I don’t matter in this situation. It’s pretty damn obvious that I don’t, and shouldn’t, matter.

    But I have to admit that I sure don’t want to physically be around them because *anyone* saying that they want me to die, for *any* reason, doesn’t exactly make me want to rub shoulders in physical spaces. And I think maybe similar feelings to that are why some cis people begin with the ‘my hurt feefees’.

    But we (meaning cis people in this case) should all be capable of deciding that while we may not like an individual *person*, that random stranger on the internet is not going to jump through the screen and murder us, and likely isn’t going to stalk us and murder us… and the second I can only imagine must be a somewhat real fear for anyone who is trans and out.

    Thus, our feelings don’t matter. I am uncomfortable with some of the sentiments expressed, but I’m cis so that discomfort doesn’t matter. It’s not important.

    What is important is that a young woman was driven to kill herself.

  130. A. Noyd says

    Grewgills (#156)

    Trans hate for cis people hardens more hearts making reachable people less reachable and helps to make sure that cis hate for trans people holds on longer.

    What a load of victim-blaming bollocks. Bigotry doesn’t persist because the oppressed are insufficiently nice to the oppressors.

  131. says

    Thank you, Rowan. Funny how Every. Single. Thread. about dead trans people ends up being about the feelings of cis people.

    And here’s my first act of free education this year. Took 2h 19m, definitely a new low annual score.

    If you find yourself holding forth about something, and you feel that ‘in all honesty’ you’ve got to admit you don’t know much about it/only have one historical acquaintance who was knowledgeable/ have limited experience/whatever other disclaimer of thus nature, consider please that the oppressed people you’re talking to might know somewhat more than you, and that what you see as brave honesty in admitting ignorance, we hear as privileged arrogance, thinking that your limited experience qualifies you to make pronouncements against the life experience of the people you’re bravely ignorant of.

    We don’t get to be ignorant of you; you run everything. We have to know you to live in your society. You don’t have to know us to do so. We are the mouse, sleeping next to the elephant: lightly, and with one eye open. You bravely proclaim your ignorance, while denying that you’re speaking from a place of privilege so high you can’t even see the ground under my feet. It isn’t brave or admirable to be ignorant; it is the mark of the lazy and privileged.

    So the next time you’re thinking, “hey, this conversation needs my opinion, but I’d better admit I’m a bit light on knowledge so people will respect my intellectual honesty and I can finally get that awesome IDIC pin!”, maybe consider unplugging the damn keyboard until you DO know enough to contribute. I’m given to understand you’re allowed emotion every seven years or so; maybe try this Earth thing we call ’empathy’ next Pon Farr, huh?

    Here endeth the lesson.

  132. says

    And to be clear, my thanks to you, Rowan, was genuine; you emphasised that the thread should be about Leelah, and I appreciated that as the work of a good ally, de-centring the feelings of the privileged. Didn’t want you to feel I was being snarky, when that was not my meaning. Sorry for saying it poorly/ambiguously.

  133. says

    By all means, zoebrain, and for me that applies to any comments I make in public, but I do appreciate your asking and recommend the same whenever borrowing the words of the relatively less privileged. Trudy of Gradient Lair (gradientlair.com) has a lot to say on this topic, but you should read it from her.

    If you need a link, my nym connects to my blog.

  134. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    zoebrain,

    Shouldn’t counselors have to get some kind of license from the state? Because practicing by following that first handbook should be grounds for not getting it or having one’s license taken away.

  135. Grewgills says

    Call it victim blaming if you like, but if your goal is actual change rather than righteous indignation how the majority of the people hear your message matters. Bigotry creates more bigotry and hatred creates more hatred. Is that fair? No, but life isn’t fair.
    Do I think trans people, homosexuals, African Americans etc have a lot of justifiable anger and deserve some venue to vent? Yes?
    Do you realize that venting publicly in the “Die fucking ___!” form does more harm to the cause of ending bigotry from ____? You fucking should if you are more concerned about societal change than your righteous indignation (whether it is earned or not).

  136. Grewgills says

    @Rowan
    I agree entirely with your sentiment on a personal level. It doesn’t make me angry that someone oppressed hates me because I am a member of a group that oppresses them. It makes me sad, but nowhere near as sad as the fact that society has treated them in a way that makes them feel that way.
    On an I want society to change level though I think it makes change less likely and so it bothers me. It isn’t my feelings that I’m worried about, it’s the feelings of the people who are sitting on the fence and have changeable minds. There has been a lot of progress on equal protections of ethnic and orientation minorities in the US in the last 50 years or so. Much of that progress has come from angry people spurred to action by their anger. Almost none of that progress has come from people publicly proclaiming the hate the majority and want them dead.

  137. gobi's sockpuppet's meatpuppet says

    My feefees were momentarily hurt by the ‘hate cis’ comments but I got over it…

    Grewgills, please get over it.

    @Beatrice:

    ‘Shouldn’t counselors have to get some kind of license from the state?’

    The Australian government has thrown over half a billion dollars into a “chaplaincy” program for public schools. A religious organisation was contracted to put Christian proselytisers into schools under the guise of “counsellors”. The previous government gave the option of choosing social workers/psychologists – the current one took that away.

  138. says

    Nathaniel, I think the tone is more “…hurts my fee fees, stop or I won’t like you anymore and it’ll all be your fault and anyway I’m TELLING!”

    But then, I’m too rude to have my posts replied to by our privilege-stuffed morbidly priapic dung beetle here, whose allyhood is so valuable we have to spend hours talking about nothing else but the value of that allyhood, but who can’t stoop to actually engaging with a person from the group he’d be a fierce ally of (if only we were nicer, like that friendly King fellow always dreaming over there on the Fox, he was so nice, it was great how well being nice worked out for him, wasn’t it? And how us big-hearted white people just opened our hearts and sang ‘Kumbaya my Black brothers’ as soon as they just asked nicely, cause that’s totally how the Civil Rights movement was…yknow, or whatever, something like that, but Lord have mercy, I’m sure glad there wasn’t any angry language involved, cause then we’d have had to be much firmer…people do need to know their place, after all, right?”

    At least with the minefield I only have to look down for danger. Save me from such proudly ignorant and profoundly useless allies.

  139. Beatrice, an amateur cynic looking for a happy thought says

    I’m going to be a party pooper and request nicely that any discussions of “die cis scum” and similar be taken to the Thunderdome as they are a derail. (I will defer to people more affected by the conversation than me, if they wish to keep the convo going on here (when I say more affected I mean trans folks, not cis folks like me who are terribly horribly affected by a trans person being impolite))

    Thunderdome

    This may not be much of a derail, but I find it a bit distasteful that people in a thread about how parents have driven their trans daughter to suicide talk about how people who are trans should be nicer to cis people. Context matters.

    So, Grewgills, I’ll have a comment for you over there.

  140. Grewgills says

    You apparently didn’t read what I actually wrote and instead responded to what you think I mean. My feelings are irrelevant in this. I’m not angry. Hate me all you like. Wish me dead if you want. It won’t make me mad or change my support for equality. That was not even approaching the point I was making.
    Social change requires gaining a lot of support and some of the allies that change requires are at the margins. If you tell everyone at the margins to fuck off because they don’t support you strongly enough then you lose support and delay change.
    Anyway, I’m done. I will obviously change your minds no more than you will change the minds of anyone at the margins. Continue preaching to the choir.

  141. samihawkins says

    You used a thread about a trans girl who was emotionally abused to the point of suicide as an excuse to lecture the trans community about how we should kiss your ass and tell you it smells nice or else we don’t deserve to have equality.

    Fuck you.

  142. says

    Grewgills has inspired me.

    I’m going to go find a forum where African-American people are talking about racism and someone says in frustration something along the lines of “goddamn white people, they make me sick” or something, and I’m going to take them to task.

    In every situation like this, people need to be reminded to be fair to the uptrodden.

  143. azhael says

    If you tell everyone at the margins to fuck off because they don’t support you strongly enough then you lose support and delay change.

    Here is what you don’t seem to understand: anyone who would not treat you as a fellow, equal human being because you were rude or said something hurtful, IS NOT AT THE FUCKING MARGINS. In fact they can’t fucking see the fence from where they are standing. Someone who would go “oh wow, that trans person said something awful and bigoted, so clearly now they are no longer people and who gives a fuck if they die” is not a changeable mind on the fence…
    In fact, arguing that such people are indeed on the fence is not just mindboglingly ignorant, it’s disgustingly offensive as fuck.

  144. rq says

    If an ally is so easily dissuaded by the justifiably negative and perhaps, yes, even violently angry feelings of the people they purport to support, that person is not an ally worth having. Weak in the guts, and all that.
    If your idea of politeness is important enough for you to avoid discussing the issue actually at hand (in this case, the fucking terrifyingly high rate of suicide and suicide attempts in trans* people, and even more specifically, the religious views and emotional abuse and refusal of acceptance of Leelah’s parents that drove her to suicide), then I’m sorry, but you’re being a shitty person.
    And this is probably enough of a derail to go to the Thunderdome.

    Anyway. Thanks, Cait and others, for taking the time and the energy to (once again) work on the education of the rest of us. I’m currently out of words on this.

  145. Shiroferetto says

    I AM NOT CIS.

    Thought I would start out with that in big letters so you see it. I am also not trans, but I’m not cis. Several of my close friends are trans, and I do everything I can to promote the bullshit that transpersons have to go through. The Leelah Alcorn story is all over my wall, and before I even glanced at this thread, I had a plea to all of my friends to come to me if they felt suicidal or hurt or depressed.

    I was in the closet so fucking long that I reached Narnia, killed that stupid lion, and made a rug out of him for my fireplace. You’re all assuming that my desire to see the cis-must-die is coming from some sort of feefee boohoo session over personal offense. Hey, I can’t feel cis hate the way a cis person does. That doesn’t mean I shouldn’t knock down hatred where it grows.

    I know what it means to be different-gendered in a sea of cis-people. Some of them have treated me cruelly. I’m probably not in danger of being killed by someone because of my gender expression, but in the Bible Belt, you never know. That fear is pretty much reserved for my trans friends who try to make being 6’2″ or 6’5″ work as a woman who didn’t have the absolute luxury of hormone therapy before puberty. I help my trans friends, and I try to educate cis persons on what it’s like not to have your body match what you really are.

    I get it. I really fucking do. I’m still not apologizing, and I’ll state again that I’m not cis, and I find the cis-hate completely unnecessary. Now the Xtian brainwashing I can get behind and hate that. Those people CHOSE to do that to their daughter and drive her to suicide. They CHOSE the therapists, they CHOSE to isolate a depressed girl from her friends and neighbors. They CHOSE to be utter fucking DOUCHEBAGS to their beautiful daughter even in death.

    Previous to this, I made two posts. Both were met with tirades. As someone else said, let’s get this discussion back to where it belongs. Also? FUCK YOU, CAITIE. Now I know why people hate SJWs.

  146. Shiroferetto says

    and I do everything I can to promote the bullshit that transpersons have to go through

    Wow, that came out wrong when I typed it. You know what I mean.

    “I do everything I can to shine a light on the bullshit that transpersons have to go through.”

  147. rq says

    I’m going to clarify that my comment was directed at Grewgills.

    Shiroferetto
    I really appreciate your input here, too. All of it. Thought I should mention that.

  148. Shiroferetto says

    rq

    Thank you. Having someone understand the words coming out of my fingertips actually means a lot to me right now.

  149. samihawkins says

    “I’m totally an ally to trans people. so long as they grovel sufficiently and never ever dare to get angry at the group who makes their life a living hell.”

  150. Shiroferetto says

    Where in my writing do you see that I am not an ally or have stopped being an ally? You are making shit up out of your own head and attributing it to me. And it’s simply not the case.

  151. samihawkins says

    I dunno, maybe in that angry tirade you just posted lecturing trans people about how we’re not allowed to get angry toward the group that treats us like shit? You know, that one where you screeched an all caps ‘fuck you’ toward a trans woman for having the nerve to express her feelings on the subject?

  152. Shiroferetto says

    What. Because she’s a trans woman I have to tolerate all the spew that comes out of her mouth? Sir/ma’am/other, I tell you that do not have to tolerate the spew–especially when it’s all over me. She’s a big girl and is responsible for what comes out of her fingertips, too.

    And by the way, I’m more than just an ally. I’m an ally that’s part of the team. I’m on the other side of the fence from cis, and telling me I’m not an ally is laughable at best.

  153. carlie says

    Same accommodationist argument, different verse.

    It isn’t my feelings that I’m worried about, it’s the feelings of the people who are sitting on the fence and have changeable minds.

    And a lot of those minds get changed at least in part because they are slapped into it by seeing the intensity of response. You can’t deny that happens. Every time we’ve had the accommodationist argument, loads of people show up to recount how they only changed their minds because they got schooled hard, not because someone politely explained it to them. Sometimes it really takes a hard (metaphorical) shove to move a person’s thinking out of the realm of theoretical to understanding exactly how those ideas really affect other people. What makes you move faster and feel worse about what you did and more conscientious about your behavior: someone saying “Oh excuse me, you seem to have stepped on my foot a little hard there” or them screaming “OH MY GOD YOU JUST STABBED THROUGH MY FOOT I’M BLEEDING WHAT THE FUCK IS WRONG WITH YOU STOMPING AROUND IN RAZOR HEELS?!” Is the first response likely to get you to stop wearing those damned shoes with razors on them? Probably not. But the second response may at least get you to think twice, right? So no, a polite response is not the only effective response, and may be a less productive response for a lot of people.

    And if a lot of people say “I honestly hate those people who wear razors on their heels”, well, maybe you’ll think about not wearing them at all. And if everyone who wears razor heels looks like you, and they say “I hate all of you people because of your razor heels”, the only response that will help is for you to say “Shit, I really have to go convince everyone to stop wearing those damned shoes”. Saying “I personally don’t wear them any more, don’t complain about me” doesn’t stop them getting their feet sliced up by other people with the razor shoes, and therefore doesn’t fix the problem.

  154. samihawkins says

    “telling me I’m not an ally is laughable at best.”

    Lecturing trans people about how we’re allowed to feel toward the group responsible for 99% of the bigotry we face.

    Cussing them out when they don’t follow your orders

    Telling the people you claim to be an ally to that you, not them, gets to decide who is a real ally.

    Doing all this in a thread about how a family of cis people, you know those people that you in your grand allyness have declared we can never ever get angry at, drove a trans girl to suicide with their bigotry.

  155. Shiroferetto says

    I guess if I was trans, anything I said would be golden.

    Then you get your wish. I’m outta here. There are a lot of places I can go and actually help people, and apparently this hivemind isn’t one of those places.

  156. carlie says

    I’ll state again that I’m not cis, and I find the cis-hate completely unnecessary.

    By your own statements, though, you’re not entirely trans either, is that correct? And, if I read it right, are in a marriage wherein the structure of it gives you the default setting of passing for cis? From reading everything you have written, your description is that you have had some bad experiences, but in all your situation has been “not that bad”. I would step out on a limb and guess that is coloring your desire to see everyone be more diplomatic; that approach is what has worked for you in your own situation. But that isn’t going to be true for everyone, especially those for whom the contrast to what everyone “expects” from them is much larger, who don’t have that large cushion of being in a societally-approved relationship and setup to start with. And those people are going to be more angry than you are, because they’ve been treated worse and with less support. I don’t begrudge them a bit of their anger.

  157. azhael says

    @187 Shiroferetto

    Where in my writing do you see that I am not an ally or have stopped being an ally? You are making shit up out of your own head and attributing it to me. And it’s simply not the case.

    Well, to me, it’s when you said this:

    FUCK YOU, CAITIE. Now I know why people hate SJWs.

    You are saying that hating SJWs is understandable because they had the nerve to not be perfect (because their enemies can be as vicious as they bloody like, but they must be held to surreal standards or their entire personhood will be taken away). Basically, you are demonstrating that to you, allyhood is contingent, not on the merits of the cause, but on how much people are willing to be submissive and for some unfathomable reason, polite. If they fail to be, fuck them, they deserve to be hated….

  158. throwaway, never proofreads, every post a gamble says

    As I am CIS-gendered, I feel it would be appropriate to speak up about the “hate” directed at people like me.

    It makes me sad. Sad that so many people who maintain the status quo have made your lives horrible enough to engender such a feeling. Rather than moan about how those feelings are invalid (because I don’t believe they are when they can be justified by lived experience), I’ll just say I’m sorry that you were put through whatever it was that you went through throughout your life, and what it is that you will still be going through as I go about my nominal everyday existence.

    I cannot condemn your hate, and I don’t think you need to let it go because it makes you a bad person – it doesn’t. I know it’s not personal and that the trust that was ruined by others of my type may never be brought back. But if I sat here expecting you to change all that, then chastise you for not giving me, personally, the grace of your forgiveness, then what I would be doing would be making it all about myself. That’s not what I want to do. I don’t think that’s what an ally would do either. An ally would recognize that the bridge was burned not by you, but by everything that you went through thanks to people who didn’t care or didn’t bother to try, who could have spoke up but didn’t.

  159. says

    Grewgills, you are not allowed to post in this thread any more. If you do so, for any purpose at all, to say anything at all, you will be banned.

  160. Saad says

    I feel the same way as Rowan (#160). I’m cis and I know full well that the cards are stacked heavily in my favor. I find anti-cis remarks from a trans person to be justified expressions of outrage.

    Besides, it’s not like there’s a dangerous group of trans people out to oppress, hurt and kill cis people. Oh wait, it’s the other way around.

    It is the cis people’s responsibility to create a fair environment for non-cis people to deservedly exist in. The responsibility can’t fall on the oppressed. That’s never the case. It wasn’t black people’s responsibility to give them the right to vote. It’s always the oppressor’s responsibility to change.

    I won’t ever echo a comment like die cis scum, because I don’t like violent language. But I do say fuck privileged cis assholes every time I hear of a tragedy like Leelah’s.

  161. Saad says

    Sorry for not posting that in the Thunderdome. I scrolled down after reading Rowan’s #160 and didn’t see Beatrice’s request at #177.

  162. says

    Thanks, PZ
    I’m sick and tired of that shit. It doesn’t fly when I’m in the marginalized group that is being told to “be nice or…”, so it doesn’t fly when I’m in the majority group either.
    Whenever a member of a group I’m privileged over says something in terms of “shitty dominant group”, I get to choose to simply exclude myself because I’m not one of the horrible people they’re talking about*. And I can simply choose not to care because trans people have no power at all to take away my kids or something like that And that’s fucking privilege, because I don’t get that choice when I’m in the minority group.
    Finding nothing more important here than a trans* woman’s choice of words is privilege in the 10th potence.

    *Actually, whining “not all …” would definetly make me include myself in the horrible group.

  163. says

    For the record, if you look closely, I haven’t said a word against cis people generally; almost all of my friends are of course cis people, and I bear no particular animus myself to cis people as a group. Certain individuals, mind, I offer no guarantee that I will have any fucking time for.

    But I won’t sit by and watch someone be castigated for expressing some completely understandable rage at yet another woman like me hounded TO DEATH by, yes, cis people, because of her not being cis. I’m not going to meekly sit by and watch as Yet Another thread about dead trans people is turned into a thread about how if we’d only be nicer, you cis folk would totally stop KILLING US ALL THE FUCKING TIME, and why do we have to be so mean anyway, and other cis supremacist bullshit.

    Fuck that noise. It’s been forty five years since WE started the fucking “LGB and if it’s not too inconvenient, maybe T once in a while” movement, and we’d still love to get a seat at the back of the fucking bus, instead of under it for a change.

    Giliell had the key here: if it’s not about you, don’t make it about you. If you’re not scum, then you aren’t affected by ‘Die cis scum!’, are you?

    Fuck accommodationism anyway. If my anger is enough to make you not my ally, then I’m glad you were outed so easily as being as useful to my safety and freedom as toilet paper armour in a monsoon. If you don’t get why eliminationist behaviour makes its targets angry, and focus on the anger instead of the KILLING, then you’re not much cop as a human being, are you? And you’re sure as hell not someone I want on this side of the barricades.

  164. says

    Hi! Straight, white, cis-gendered, able-bodied male, here.

    I don’t get angry at expressions of outrage and hatred from those less privileged than me. It makes sense to me. I’d be just as pissed at oppressors if I had any (and hey… I’m neither Christian nor wealthy). Anger is justified. “Die cis scum” does make me a cringe a bit, but I get it, too. It doesn’t surprise me or anger me or make me want to not be an ally anymore. Same goes for “all men are rapists”.

    When marginalized groups express outrage, it’s there for a reason. I think people should keep that in mind before they go off tone-trolling and telling everyone that their ally-ship is dependent upon everyone else being nice.

    And frankly, I shared, in a way, a bit of that outrage when I read Leelah’s story. I really am (and I’m not kidding) of the opinion that her parents killed her. Technically she committed suicide, but I think her parents should be tried for some degree of murder.

    Yes. I said it. As far as I’m concerned, Leelah’s parents murdered her. So someone comes a long with “die cis scum”? I just nod. Because it makes sense to me, even if I don’t agree with it. My fee-fees aren’t as important as the very real injustice exposed here.

  165. thetalkingstove says

    Agree entirely with those saying a trans person hating cis folk is completely different to viceversa. This is pretty basic stuff, surely? Are we going to tut tut POC who complain about crackers, too?

    Also, Shiroferetto, you went to the tired old “hive mind” attack when some people had (unfortunately) agreed with you and thanked you for your stupid post. So we can add”dishonesty” to the issues with your behaviour here.

  166. Rachel: astronomy nerd and estrogen addict says

    @194 Shiroferetto

    I guess if I was trans, anything I said would be golden.

    That’s not true. Example: I’m trans, I posted a link to a fake account earlier in this thread (139), and I rightfully and deservedly got called out for it. What you were doing was tone-trolling against very legitimate anger. Obviously, the trans people in this thread don’t have a hatred for cis people (I really shouldn’t have to point that out), but that doesn’t mean that we can’t or shouldn’t express anger and disgust at transphobic institutions and practices created by cis people that KILL trans people. That’s the premise of PZ posting this thread, and anger at cissexist society is more than justified.

    Then you get your wish. I’m outta here. There are a lot of places I can go and actually help people, and apparently this hivemind isn’t one of those places.

    Good riddance.

  167. says

    frankgturner @136:

    Leelah’s parents allowed themselves to be brainwashed. I was under the impression that the family lived in a community where they were never exposed to alternate ways of thinking but thank to your link in # 129 Gilliel I see that they WERE exposed to the idea of accepting their child the way she was and my softness in # 67 just flew out the window. (My apologies to you Thomathy). Plain English in # 100 expresses the monsters I think her parents turned out to be.

    1. Religious indoctrination (or brainwashing) most often occurs when people are very young. They rarely have a choice in the matter. So no, they didn’t “allow” themselves to be brainwashed or indoctrinated.

    2. Her parents, as horrible and vile as they are, are not monsters. Othering them doesn’t help overcome the transphobia in society. Nor does it help in understanding what leads people to be transphobic. All it does is allow people to say “only people like that are horrible transphobic assholes”. All it does is allow people to say “I’m not like that. I’m not transphobic. That’s an issue other people have.”
    The potential for transphobia exists in all of us and manifests in many of us in big ways and small. It’s part and parcel of the transphobic cultures we live in (yes, cultures, bc transphobia is NOT solely a problem in the U.S.)

  168. Alex the Pretty Good says

    I would like to raise another point that I think was referenced in Leelah’s original message.
    What do people, and then especially people with more contact with the trans* community than I have, think of the “It Gets Better” project?

    I think that she referred to the project by the end of her letter, but it could also be a general remark. So I was wondering, does “It Gets Better” actually make a difference? I’m working in a large international corporation, and we are discussing the possibility of participating in the project by working on a video message as well, but I want to be sure that by doing so, we will do more good than harm. And something about Leelah’s message gave me the impression that these messages caused her more despair than hope.

    So I ask you, Pharyngulites who have close contact with the trans* community, in your opinion is there any value in the “It Gets better” project?

  169. says

    Alex @208:
    At one time I thought the “It gets better” project was a good idea, but I’m not so sure any longer. The project stems from a desire to show support and compassion to transgender, bisexual, gay, or lesbian people. I don’t deny that all four groups need support and love, but I worry that such a platitude cannot readily translate into anything helpful for TBGL teens. The problems TBGL people face as teens don’t magically disappear when they become adults. So there’s no way anyone can know that things will get better. That’s wishful thinking, and for a lot of TBGL people, such thinking doesn’t ensure that things actually *will* become better. Hope alone is insufficient to bring about this better world.

    Maybe I’m just pessimistic today, but “It gets better” also reads like TBGL people being told to deal with the shit they’re going through as teens, bc it will all be better some day. Aside from the fact that there’s no guarantee that things will get better, what about the shit they are currently going through?

  170. says

    Tashiliciously Shriked @210:
    Ye godz. That article.
    This part stood out to me:

    And there’s another disturbing aspect to the public reaction: Alcorn’s parents, and specifically her mother, have been directly harassed by those who blame them for the death of their child. It is hard to imagine much worse that burying a child, but to lose a child by suicide must bring an almost unbearable degree of self-reproach to the loss. There may well be many things Alcorn’s parents could or should have done differently, but none of them merit the punishment of global public shaming on top of massive private grief.

    Oh, sure. In the wake of a trans girl committing suicide, we should be wary of shaming her parents for the role they played in her death. Fuck that noise. They should feel ashamed of what they did.

  171. says

    Alex, that’s a good question. For me (representing a community of one), I think they are a net good. Absolutely, not everyone finds them helpful, and someone in deep despair could take it as “not for me it won’t”, but for me, anything that puts the word out that we exist, that we can be happy, that desperation isn’t the only emotion available.

    Now, bear in mind that I’m relatively old, as trans* people go, and that I transitioned pre-internet, which was good and awful.

    Good, because I don’t have an online past to overcome; I periodically google my deadname, to be certain.

    Bad, because without the internet, I was desperate, DESPERATE, for examples of anyone 1) making a life for herself as a trans woman, and 2) wasn’t either a sitcom punchline or a Very Special Episode. I was completely alone, no mentors, no handy guides for how to accomplish transition.

    E.g., how do you change your name? How do you find work without references or a work history? Where do you get clothes or a decent haircut? How are bras sized? Can you find anything other than ugly nurse shoes in a US women’s 13 (thank fuck for smallish feet, I didn’t have that problem, but many do)? Which hair removal method will work best for me? How the fuck can I ever afford surgery, if I want it? Will I be able to make friends, or is that something I’ll have to go without as a societal outcast? How do I write cheques if my ID doesn’t match? Can I make a go in the world without any family support? What if I’m losing my hair already?

    That’s just five minutes’ thinking about what’s hard about doing this alone. Then, we were each individually feeling our way forward in a smothering darkness, trying not to step on too many mines.

    Now, there is all that stuff – but there’s really no easy way to ‘go stealth’ anymore, now that lives are online from conception forward. It can be done, but it’s a lot harder.

    So: visibility of people managing to live happily post-transition, very good. Availability of resources for shopping, for administrative stuff, for just knowing someone else who’s made it, these are all areas improved by access to positive role models. Janet Mock saves lives every time she appears in the media.

    Lastly, consider also the effect on those who love us and are simply afraid for us, for all the reasons above. My mother said (and I think it’s at least partially true) that my ability to make a life for myself was one of her great fears, and that this was a reason for her disapproval. The bigger part, I think, was her desperate need for social climbing, and thus her shame at having failed so badly in raising me right.

    But imagine if she’d been able to see that it can get better. Imagine she could have seen that transition is an excellent therapy for whatever this condition is. Would she have been able to be a little bit supportive, even?

    Maybe not. But there will be cases where that reassurance will help a family member or friend to stand by one of my siblings as they question it all, and search for their own answer.

    So, longwindedly, yes, I think visibility of positive outcomes is a likely net good. Caveat, tho, as I said, I’m old and I transitioned in a different world. Perhaps one of my younger siblings will be able to add a more current perspective?

    Hope that helps.

  172. Saad says

    The first line of the subtitle alone is fucking ridiculous:

    We know that transgender people are at particular risk of suicidal thoughts.

    Nice. Hide the gigantic bigoted elephant in the room and just call it a “particular risk”. She says it as if being trans is itself a risk factor.

    “We know that transgender people are at risk of suicidal thoughts caused by the deliberate words and actions of cis people.”

    FTFY, Sarah.

  173. The Mellow Monkey says

    Alex the Pretty Good @ 208

    So I ask you, Pharyngulites who have close contact with the trans* community, in your opinion is there any value in the “It Gets better” project?

    The project was started by Dan Savage and his husband, white able-bodied cis gay men with a hell of a lot of money. The message of “it gets better” comes from that place, first and foremost. It often does get better when you’re a middle class (or better) man who’s only real axis of oppression is your sexual orientation. Run off to a big liberal city after high school and live your happy moneyed life with all the white, abled, cis and male privilege you can stand. And I don’t begrudge them that. They’re able to shelter themselves from the brutal homophobia out there? Good. I’m genuinely glad they don’t suffer as they did as teens.

    But for people with multiple axes of oppression–such as trans women and especially trans women of color–it’s a different story. Heartbreakingly, Leelah recognized that cissupremacy and transmisogyny weren’t just going to disappear one day. There was no easy way for her to insulate herself from it.

  174. samihawkins says

    ^It’s not idiotic, it’s evil. The author is a TERF. She doesn’t give a shit about Leelah or any other trans woman. She doesn’t want the note shared because she wants to erase Leelah’s existence the same way Leelah’s biblebigot parents did.

  175. samihawkins says

    Damn. I didn’t expect a bunch of people to post before my reply. Now that arrow just looks dumb.

  176. chigau (違う) says

    Tashiliciously Shriked #210
    the author of that article seems to like the Samaritans.
    They have some good and some awful advice about reporting on suicide.

  177. says

    She seems to hold them as inviolate perfect gospel with no room for context . But only because trans* issues. Id be willing to bet real interney money shed change her tune if it was a cis woman who did this because she was gay.

    Fucking terfs

  178. says

    Hey, now, angry trans* people. You need to stop.

    I mean, you came into this thread about a poor cis person brutally driven to suicide by her transgender parents, because they couldn’t accept her identifying with the gender she was assigned at birth in the midst of the context of the appallingly high suicide rates among cisgender people and you make it all about you and your issues. I mean, those cis people are in pain and lashing out and trying to live by the dying words of this tragic cis girl and they just get shit from SJW trans* assholes making it all about them. Again.

    It’s just not right. Have some compassion and perspective.

  179. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    I hope some of you cis people realize why I kept quiet about being a trans woman for so many years. It was nice to have a regular place I could come to regularly without dealing with all of the issues.

  180. says

    Janine, OMG fuck yes. I’ve had an idea about it, tho, and I think I’ll be posting at Fullmetal about it tomorrow. But I totally get it, and sometimes wish I could unring the bell and go back to just being people’s friend, rather than Their Trans! Friend!.

    *fist bump of solidarity*

  181. says

    Back on topic, the suffering of trans* youth is the hardest part of being recloseted as a trans* teacher. Cause I think that’s something trans* kids need to see in the uncomfortable prisons that school systems ends up representing. What their peers need to see before bullying or adding extra misery. What their parents need to see (and specifically seeing how their kids don’t freak out like them). What their teachers need to see.

    As Leelah said, this shit needs to change. We’re losing too many of our young and our siblings. Too many because they simply do not see another way through the dysphoria and the bullshit temper tantrum those invested in a strict and immutable gender binary pitch at our existence.

    We should not have to bury so many of our own in this community while the rest of society hems and haws about whether or not to even use our correct Bobdamn pronouns.

    But we do. We always do. And that’s sometimes the hardest part.

  182. carlie says

    Janine – If you had said something way back when I wouldn’t have quite understood the depths of what makes that such a complicated calculus. In fact, I’ll admit with shame that when you did say something, my first thought was along the lines of “Oh, I wonder why she never mentioned it before?”. But I certainly do understand now.

    CatieCat – that’s part of why I had difficulty figuring out how to say you’re great, because I didn’t want it to come out putting you on the High Educator Pedestal. I apologize if I did still end up doing that.

    Jenny Trout just took apart that Samaritans advice.

  183. says

    Beatrice 168

    Shouldn’t counselors have to get some kind of license from the state?

    In many U.S. states, a religious degree counts as credentials for purposes of obtaining said license. This is a major, major problem, for reasons exactly like this.

    *Thumbs up*, *salutes*, *hugs* or other appropriate gestures of support for CaitieCat, Janine, Cerberus, Sophi Daniels, samihawkins, Rachel, and anyone I may have missed by name. You all kick ass, individually and collectively.

  184. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    Carlie, my reason was simple. I started to follow a lot of trans women on twitter and I did not want to sound like I was a cis woman intruding on conversations. And because a lot of the horde are also on twitter, it would have become known over here.

  185. says

    Janine @220:

    I hope some of you cis people realize why I kept quiet about being a trans woman for so many years. It was nice to have a regular place I could come to regularly without dealing with all of the issues.

    I understand, and I’m glad you felt comfortable in coming out here.

  186. Rachel: astronomy nerd and estrogen addict says

    Janine @220:

    I hope some of you cis people realize why I kept quiet about being a trans woman for so many years. It was nice to have a regular place I could come to regularly without dealing with all of the issues.

    Seconded. There was a long time where, because of my environment, I was not comfortable even addressing or acknowledging having gender issues.

  187. says

    I also want to add my support to CaitieCat, Janine, Cerberus, Sophi Daniels, samihawkins, Rachel, and anyone else missed.

    Y’all are incredible people. I know it’s not your job to educate, but I do learn from you every day, and I’ve done my own self-education based on what you all and others have said, as well. You all have my full support… whatever it’s worth.

  188. DrVanNostrand says

    CaitieCat @221
    I know it’s not your responsibility, but I’d like to personally thank you in particular (and others on this blog) for teaching me so much about trans issues. Cases like Leelah’s are so tragic, but articles about this are so sterile and “objective” that I feel like comments sections like these are far more valuable. I would have initially thought that other atheist portals like Patheos might be similar, but apparently they’re still debating about whether trans people really deserve to be treated like people.

  189. Sili says

    145. Dalillama, Schmott Guy,

    Seriously? Fuck’s sake, we’ve all been through this one before, and you should know as well as I do that you can’t take it personally when people down the privilige curve get pissed off at the oppressing classes

    You’re right. I apologise.

  190. DrVanNostrand says

    @Beatrice
    The proper pronoun is pretty much the only reasonable starting point (even if you don’t get it, why not treat people with respect?). It’s a matter of basic courtesy, and anyone who resists that is just hiding their bigotry with some kind of antiquated pedantry. Her mother’s language is full of fake kindness, but at the same time so full of genuine hate. I don’t even know what to say. It’s just devastating.

  191. AMM says

    In a moment of masochism, I read a Washington Post article “Leelah Alcorn’s Death was Tragic, but harrassing her parents is not the answer.” The content was pretty much what the title suggests. (FWIW, the comments seem to be an even mix of support for Leelah Alcorn and people complaining that having to exist in the same world as LGBTQ people is at least as bad as driving LGBTQ people to suicide. YMMV)

    \begin{rant}
    I suppose it shouldn’t surprise me that a house organ for institutionalized privilege would be more concerned with the discomfort of the privileged than with the deaths and oppression of the unpriviliged.

    My view: maybe it is the answer. Or at least an answer.

    I don’t expect her parents to change — if having your child commit suicide because of how you’ve treated her isn’t enough to get you to rethink things, no amount of “re-education” by outsiders, whether soft and gentle or hard as a brick on the head, is going to make a difference.

    But maybe it will make a difference to other parents who think that way. Obviously, What People Will Think is more important to them than the welfare or life of their child, but maybe if there’s a counterbalancing What Will People Think fear, they’ll consider not driving their child to suicide.

    As for what the “harrassers” are putting Leelah’s parents through: nothing we can do to them is half as bad as what they put their child through. I’d say to them what they in effect said to their child: suck it up, kid.
    \end{rant}

  192. Rosanna Miller says

    I guarantee this BOY wishes that he had listened to his parents and God, since he is hell now! What an unbelievably selfish, pathetic, and wicked child. I love how he throws a tantrum, commits suicide and the vultures hover over head!! Don’t worry, you other heathen will be in hell soon enough!!!

    HOW DARE ANY OF YOU SINFUL PEOPLE SPEAK ILL ABOUT HIS PARENTS!!! YOU WILL GIVE ACCOUNT FOR EVERY WORD YOU SPEAK UNRIGHTEOUSLY AGAINST THEM! VENGEANCE IS MINE, SAITH THE LORD!! SHAME ON EACH OF YOU!!! IT WILL BE MORE BEARABLE FOR THE ONES THAT GOD DESTROYED IN SODOM AND GOMORRAH, THAN IT WILL BE FOR YOU!!

    REPENT, WHILE YOU CAN STILL FIND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!!

  193. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    Thank you for your deep insight, Rosanna Miller. I will now stop thinking that isolating a teen in the name of your religion is not abuse.

    I have learned my lesson.

    You may go now, knowing that you have won.

  194. says

    Rosanna Miller @240:

    I guarantee this BOY wishes that he had listened to his parents and God, since he is hell now! What an unbelievably selfish, pathetic, and wicked child. I love how he throws a tantrum, commits suicide and the vultures hover over head!! Don’t worry, you other heathen will be in hell soon enough!!!

    Leelah was a girl you bigoted barbarian.

  195. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    I guarantee this BOY wishes that he had listened to his parents and God,

    Major wrong before the first sentence is over. Girl is how the person described themselves, and that is good enough for me.
    By the way, your god doesn’t exist, and provided you no instructions on how to handle GLBT people. All you have is the bigotry written down by Jewish scribes 2500 years ago, and repeated ad nauseum by bigots since then. Look in the mirror, as you are one of those bigots.

  196. rq says

    Rosanna
    HER mum says SHE is in Heaven, so… I’m not sure who I’m supposed to believe here!!! You, or the person closest to Leelah?

    What an unbelievably selfish, pathetic, and wicked child.

    That about describes the parents. I know, though, I have three kids. HOW DARE THEY HAVE LIVES OF THEIR OWN AND DISAGREE WITH ME!!! And Eldest is only 7. HONESTLY IT’S LIKE THEY’RE INDEPENDENT PEOPLE OR SOMETHING OMG I CANNOT ACCEPT THAT.
    I’m pretty sure Leelah already lived through the hell – the hell created by her ‘loving’ ‘understanding’ ‘patient’ ‘forgiving’ ‘CHRISTIAN’ parents.
    Do kindly fuck off, Rosanna. You and your nonexistent god. Yahweh hasn’t smote me yet, and he has had ample opportunity and reason. So just go on and fuck off.
    Leelah deserved better, and all I can say is I hope you never have to go through what she went through at the hands of people who were supposed to LOVE HER UNCONDITIONALLY like any proper christian knows is right. Or something. My christian knowledge has faded of late, but love seemed a big part of it.
    *shrug*

  197. Rosanna Miller says

    @Tony! The Queer Shoop

    “Leelah was a girl you bigoted barbarian.”

    No, you spawn of Satan, Joshua was a boy. Make believe time is over for you! Judgment is coming for you sooner than you know. Repent, while you still can.

  198. Rowan vet-tech says

    rosanna…. You are boring. I doubt you believe any of what you’ve typed. Go back to your little troll friends and wank the afternoon away.

  199. rq says

    Rosanna
    I suggest YOU repent, or at least fuck off. I sense a Banhammer in your near future. Joshua may have been a boy, but that boy was a figment of his parents’ imagination, because the actual child they had was a GIRL named LEELAH. SAYS LEELAH. Or, you know, I could just start calling you, umm… Cucumber. Yes, I think Cucumber is your new name. Now, Cucumber, I have some advice: Go spill some christian tears over your impending banhammered self, I think Jesus is calling you. *cups ear * [tiny voice in distance] Roooooosaaaannnnaaaaaa! Rooossaaaaannnaaaa!!! Someone’s nailed me to a cross, heeeelllp meeeeeeeeeeeee!!! [/tiny voice in distance]
    I think you better run, sounds like an emergency!

  200. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    No, you spawn of Satan, Joshua was a boy. Make believe time is over for you! Judgment is coming for you sooner than you know. Repent, while you still can.

    Considering your deity doesn’t exist, and your holy book is one of mythology/fiction, the veracity of your claims is highly speculative, if not downright lying. Try again with evidence from the scientific literature, not you delusional thinking.

  201. says

    REPENT, WHILE YOU CAN STILL FIND THE LORD JESUS CHRIST!!

    I found him years ago. He was down the back of the sofa along with the TV remote, £2.48 in loose change and a mouldy peanut. We wondered, for a while, what to do with him. After a quick coat of varnish he made quite an interesting lampstand. Even had ready-made holes to thread the mains-cable through.

  202. Funny Diva says

    Daz,
    Have I said lately how much I *heart* you, and your snarky heart, too?!
    ‘cuz I do!

  203. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    What I always find interesting about folks like Rosanna Miller, is that they can’t grasp their minds around a dilemma of their own making. Either their god made a mistake in making LGBT people, or their god makes LGBT people to teach them tolerance, not intolerance. Otherwise, their god makes mistakes, if it makes LGBT people, but disapproves of them
    Without a deity, the choice is much easier, as the dilemma of a omnipotent deity and claims of scribes who claim they speak for the deity are dismissed, and the facts, not conflicting presuppositions, come forward.

  204. Saad says

    Rowan, #252

    rosanna…. You are boring. I doubt you believe any of what you’ve typed. Go back to your little troll friends and wank the afternoon away.

    And a very poor troll job at that. The over the top language gives it away.

  205. says

    Rosanna Miller @251:

    I feel so honored that out of all the commenters you responded to, you chose me.

    No, you spawn of Satan, Joshua was a boy. Make believe time is over for you! Judgment is coming for you sooner than you know. Repent, while you still can.

    1. Satan doesn’t exist.
    2. I’m the spawn of my parents.
    3. No matter how many times you bigoted assclams try to deny reality, gender dysphoria exists and her name was Leelah.
    4. It’s ironic you claim that I’m playing make believe when you believe in invisible, inaudible, undetectable, intangible, unknowable entities, forces, beings, and energies.
    5. Judgement has come for me quite often in the past, and I’m sure it will happen in the future. It comes from interacting with other human beings.
    6. “Repent”? For what? I’m an atheist. I’ve nothing to repent for. I don’t believe in your nonsensical mythology, or anyone else’s.

    I second rq’s request that you fuck off.

  206. says

    Rosanna Miller:

    No, you spawn of Satan, Joshua was a boy. Make believe time is over for you! Judgment is coming for you sooner than you know. Repent, while you still can.

    Satan doesn’t exist either, dear. Even if Satan did exist, he’s a far better, more moral entity than that idiot psychopath you call a god. (Suggested reading: Drunk with Blood: God’s Killings in the Bible, by Steve Wells.)

    There won’t be a judgement day. You could take a moment to be honest with yourself, and ponder why you invest so very much of yourself in revenge fantasies. That sort of thing isn’t healthy.

    Leelah was who the child named Joshua was, and we mourn Leelah, we grieve that she lacked the parents she needed, ones whose love for their child was unconditional and understanding. Leelah didn’t have those parents, didn’t have a community which would support her. Instead, she was surrounded by the unrelenting horror of stiff-necked, judgmental assholes who are just fine with all manner of immoral behaviour, as long as it’s behind a pious cloak of hypocrisy.

    Your day of judgement is upon you, Rosanna Miller. You stand judged by all decent people who understand that compassion and acceptance are the core of good people and a healthy society. You are found wanting.

  207. says

    It just dawned on me…given our troll’s transphobia, xe may have given me the label “spawn of satan” because of…homophobia.
    ::Gasp::
    I know. It’s hard to believe.

  208. opposablethumbs says

    Oh dear, Rosanna Miller. I’m so glad your nasty little deity doesn’t actually, you know, exist. But it’s a sad reflection on the deity you conjure up that all it inspires in you is viciousness. The god you invent is so ugly, Rosanna. So mean-spirited, so callous, so utterly vile … so oddly similar to you, its creator.

    I wish that Leelah had had parents capable of human decency and of actually loving her like any child should be loved and supported by their parents. I hope and wish that other trans children get loved and supported and get to see that they are not alone.

  209. says

    Rosanna, kindly fuck off. No matter whether you actually believe what you’Re writing or whether you’re just a troll out to annoy people. You’re hurting folks right now and we don’t allow that shit here. #TransLivesMatter

  210. Nerd of Redhead, Dances OM Trolls says

    Rosanna Miller, here are three quotes by Jesus according to your bible,
    “Do unto others, as you would have them do unto you” Luke 6:30, Matthew 7:2
    “Judge not, lest ye be judged” Matthew 7:1
    “Let ye who is without sin cast the first stone” John 8:7

    Write an essay on how your posts to date are consisted with the word or your Lord…..

  211. azhael says

    I don’t believe Rossanna was for real (although admitedly, such viciously disgusting human beings do exist) but regardless, what an absolutely putrid piece of shit you are to mock the death of a poor child who did nothing to deserve it.
    You are disgusting even if you were just trolling us….fuck off you insuferable arsehole, just knowing you exist makes the world a bleaker place.

  212. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    Funny Diva #253

    Another response to the apologists for Leelah’s parents:
    Don’t Tell Trans People To Empathize With Bigoted Parents
    (from the comments at the JennyTrout post linked above).

    Earlier today I had the TERF known as Gender Fatigue call me a sociopath because I said that Doug and Carla Wood Alcorn abused Leelah for religious reasons.

    It was fun.

  213. frankgturner says

    With the appearance of Rosanna Miller I was going to say something along the lines of how I worked in a neuroscience lab and extracted brain fluids and cut slices of brains opened and tested for the presence of nuerotransmitters in certain regions (rodents, but similar brain structural anomalies are found in primates). Then I thought I might go into how in many cases a male brain will have a certain structure (80-90 % of thee time, depends on the species) and how the female brain will have a particular structure (again 80-90%, depending on species). Of course sometimes, particularly in dimorphic species, the brain structure might vary and a generally male structure might be found in a body that has female genitals or a female structure in a male genital body. And there are plenty of variations in the general structure of either one, length of the corpus callosum, percent of intracranial space and white matter, etc.
    .
    It does not take a lot of thought to realize that this could influence sexual desires as well as one’s view of their morphic tendencies. And it is not a mistake, it is part of the variation found in an evolving species (genetic drift). If I believed in a god I would pretty much think he put evidence of genetic drift into us like all sorts of other animals as it helps to protect from disease. Of course I am pretty sure that promoting how evolution actually influences body structure because god made us perfect the way we are and a female structure brain in a male body is a mistake right? Just another spawn of Satan who actually comprehends this a bit too well. Hmm?
    .
    I wonder if PZ feels like linking to any of the articles on this subject. So yes Rosanna, while Joshua may have been BORN with male genitals, Leelah was probably BORN with a female brain, which based on studies that I have read is actually more desirable and I often wish that I had one.
    .
    OH and I have found Jesus, I worked with him. He was a nice mixed Puerto Rican and Nigerian fellow who flipped between an interesting form of Spanish with slang and American English with slang. Very helpful to customers he was, often asked for by name.

  214. frankgturner says

    Oh well she was banned before I posted. Still, if anyone reads articles on male and female brain structure differentiation it is interesting.
    .
    The love for Leelah and those like her is more important.

  215. says

    It’S very easy to find Jesus in Spanish. You just sneeze and there he is!
    +++

    As for empathy with the parents of trans* children: i do have. If and when they support their children to the absofuckinglutely best of their ability. I admit that being cis and a parent this perspective comes more easily to me. I can imagine that it must be fucking hard to fight for adequate medical care for your child against the medical establishment, to fight against family, caregivers, teachers and their bigotry. To probably fight against the other parent who might try to win sole custody because you are supportive of your trans* child and they are not. That it breaks your heart to see the world to treat your wonderful child with so much bigotry and hatred. To see your child hurting and being unable to make it stop.
    This is, of course, not comparable to what the trans* child goes through, but as I said, it’s a perspective that comes more easily.
    If you expect empathy for people who are suffering because their child is trans and they are biggotted assholes who cannot accept that their child is not a custom made cabbage patch kid, I have none.

  216. chigau (違う) says

    Now we have a good idea who wrote the fake tweet from Leelah’s mother.

  217. Funny Diva says

    Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen

    having re-watched “The Princess Bride” on Xmas day…I just gotta write:
    [they] keep using that word. I do not think it means what they think it means!

    as has been obvious to many of us for longer than we care to remember: it’s projection all the way down. (that and complete incomprehension of basic words and concepts! Oh, and name-calling with big werdz…)

    *sigh*
    here, let me just leave you this stack of spoons…
    and this voucher to get your Emotional Jackboots re-soled and detailed…

    What I particularly found valuable in that link at #253 was the roll-call and link roundup of other deaths due to transphobia. I knew intellectually that Leelah wasn’t (unfortunately) the only, or even the last…just the most high-profile at this moment. But seeing names and links to stories really smacked me upside the head with the reality and the enormity of it (and that’s from a tiny fraction of all the names and stories out there).
    Because I have the privilege (in the sociological sense, not the sense of “hot damn, looka what *I* gots!”) of not seeing much of the trans* community unless smacked upside the head.

    So I really have to also re-echo what Nate Hevens says at #226 and #231–thank you. Your voices, your experiences, what you share here on Pharyngula threads–they make a difference to me!

  218. Owlmirror says

    someone claiming to be “Christian Justice” (a name, or an abstraction?) wrote:

    […] A BIG DICK […]LITTLE WIENIES[…]LITTLE WANKER, GET YOUR ROCKS OFF[…]

    …demonstrating that whatever they actually believe about God, they’re definitely obsessed about male genitalia.

    (I would suspect Landover Baptist, but Landover Baptist actually makes an attempt to be funny.)

  219. Funny Diva says

    Daz: for some values of “odd”, yes I suppose so!

    The part I don’t understand is their need to barge in, fling poo and shriek about how they “shake [our] dust from their feet” because we’re so worthless and they don’t give a damn about us…
    So…why the stoopid, feces-smearing attention seeking, then? Slow day at the wankery? Seriously?!
    Any “points” they earn from “getting a reaction” exist only in their tiny little minds…sort of like their skydaddy!

  220. Funny Diva says

    Especially if they return as a sock and get banned AGAIN!
    Does that square the persecution-cred, or merely double it, d’you think?

  221. David Marjanović says

    Earlier today I had the TERF known as Gender Fatigue call me a sociopath because I said that Doug and Carla Wood Alcorn abused Leelah for religious reasons.

    *facepalm*

    ORNITHOLOGUE !

  222. David Marjanović says

    Slow day at the wankery?

    I’ve been laughing for half a minute! I’m so stealing this. :-D

  223. Owlmirror says

    I also wonder if this alleged Christian would tell Leelah’s parents that their child is in hell, as proclaimed above @#240.

    Whatever else you might say about the Alcorns, I suspect that they would not want for their child to be tortured forever by God, going by the mother’s words quoted @#235 (noting the adjective “good”, and therefore presumably not deserving of damnation).

  224. David Marjanović says

    “Mom and Dad: Fuck you. You can’t just control other people like that. That’s messed up,” were her final words to her parents in the apology note.

    From a href=”http://www.thenewcivilrightsmovement.com/davidbadash/dan_savage_parents_of_trans_teen_leelah_alcorn_threw_her_in_front_of_that_truck”>here.

  225. frankgturner says

    @Daz # 292
    Which only leads to that minister in one of Aronra’s videos on youtube who claimed that 2 + 2 = 5. As Aron said, “How Orwellian.”

    @iamchristian justice,
    or whatever you want to call yourself. Go talk to the nice Doctors about your pills before you get back on the computer. The leprechauns with wings on the ceiling are telling you that this is God’s will. Those doctors will help you into you clothes designed by Guilleret.

  226. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    fTrans “hate” for cis people…/blockquote>

    …occasionally triggers cis people who’ve been traumatized by bullying for other reasons. I guess that’s okay..

  227. Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :) says

    …okay, I’d meant by “I guess that’s okay” something closer to “I suppose it’s still the lesser evil, but I wish people weren’t quite as glib about it” and just reread it. Also, that discussion’s apparently over so never mind.

  228. chigau (違う) says

    frankgturner #294
    Equating mental illness with religion?
    Don’t do that.

  229. Janine the Jackbooted Emotion Queen says

    What awful human beings. They killed Leelah and show no remorse about their actions. They deserve every bit of harassment they get.

    Please, no harassment. That is a tactic that is only fit for the unethical. But I do hope that Carla Wood and Doug Alcorn are shunned by the people that live by and have to interact with. It would be nice if they do start to feel remorse and learn to understand just how they harmed their daughter. But harassment will not do it.

  230. Sili says

    MODERATOR REQUEST:

    Cleanup on aisle 240, STAT!

    Why? It’s stupid and bigoted, but is it directly harmful? It seems a good exhibit to keep around so that we may know that they are Christians by their love.

  231. frankgturner says

    @ chigau # 299

    Equating mental illness with religion?
    Don’t do that.

    Generally speaking I wasn’t equating mental illness with religion. I was equating Rosanna / Christian justice’s attitude with mental illness which happens to incorporate religious references. It is one of those, you can be mentally ill without religion but you can be mentally ill with it and have it incorporated into one’s religious beliefs. I have met plenty of moderate religious individuals whom I would say are not mentally ill.
    .
    The main thing I was doing was being a wise ass in 294. This is about Leelah whom I sincerely believe was not mentally ill, but I think her parents are pretty ill and twisted.

  232. Al Dente says

    frankgturner @304

    This is about Leelah whom I sincerely believe was not mentally ill, but I think her parents are pretty ill and twisted.

    Please don’t make long-distance psychological evaluations of people you’ve never met.

  233. frankgturner says

    @Al Dente # 306
    Fair enough, I would make the same observation myself. I am not a professional psychologist so my feelings would not really matter in the case. I simply feel that they are pretty awful given the information that we have. Hence why I couched it, “I think,” and not “I know.” Perhaps I should have couched it a bit better.
    .
    I feel somewhat sorry for her parents to have not seen that they could love her unconditionally and accept her the way she was despite people around them that did. Interesting how people will talk about unconditional love and then put conditions on their tolerance and acceptance for others. Of course feeling sorry for them does not equate to I think what they did was right, I don’t. It is complex to think of how one feels in a situation like this. My deepest sympathies are for Leelah. It would have been nice for her to know that there were places that she could be accepted for who she was.

  234. Esteleth is Groot says

    So it turns out that in addition to being viciously transphobic, Leelah’s parents took her to a “therapist” who put her on a massive (like, well outside the recommended dose) of Prozac.

    Prozac, which has a black box warning indicating that high doses can cause suicidal ideation and suicide in adolescents.

    The tiny wafts of sympathy I felt for the Alcorns are floating away.