#RealLiveTransAdult turns tragedy into solidarity

One of the news items in LGBT media over the last few days was the tragic suicide of Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender girl from Kings Mills, Ohio. She left a post on Tumblr, which was scheduled to be published after her death. The post ended with the following plea to society:

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 f*ucked up” and fix it. Fix society. Please.

Following the news, transgender advocates and allies have taken to Twitter and began posting using the hashtag #RealLiveTransAdult. The transgender advocates used social media as an empowering space for those whose voices are often silenced. Think of it as a trans-specific, social media version of the It Gets Better project. 

Take a look at some of the tweets:

If you are looking for solidarity and inspiration following Leelah's death, it's worth checking out #RealLiveTransAdult on Twitter. If you are a real live trans adult, add your own story to the mix.

The Trans* Violence Tracking Portal also released a statement:

In honor of Leelah Alcorn, we call for the immediate creation of a national effort to bring about Leelah's Law that will ban 'conversion therapy' against transgender, gay, lesbian and bisexual youth.  

Debi Jackson of Trans-Parenting "I understand the struggle many religious families go through when they realize they might have a transgender child because of their particular church’s beliefs. But these kids are not broken, and they don’t need to be fixed. Many denominations and churches open their arms to transgender individuals, so even the most religious families can find the support they need without resorting to such brutal behaviors as conversion therapy. It has proven time and time again to be a deadly practice. Our children deserve better. They deserve to be accepted for who they are, exactly as God created them.”

ETNYC fully supports the efforts of the Transgender Life Line setup by Greta Gustava Martela and asks anyone that is thinking about ending their life to call the Transgender Life Line before attempting suicide. They can be reached at 877.565.8860, 24 hours a day.

In addition to the Transgender Life Line, listed above, anyone struggling with suicidal thoughts are encouraged to visit The Trevor Project. We all have a responsibility to welcome and accept one another. In this new year, resolve to reach out, accept fully, stand up for others, and make space for the marginalized to lift their own voices.