'My Death Needs to Mean Something': Trans Teen

17-year-old hit by truck early Sunday morning
By Elizabeth Armstrong Moore,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 31, 2014 2:00 AM CST
Ohio Trans Teen: 'My Death Needs to Mean Something'
Leelah Alcorn was born Josh Alcorn.   (Courtesy of Abigail Jones)

Ohio transgender teen Leelah Alcorn scheduled two posts to go live on Tumblr the day of her death. Then the 17-year-old, who was born Josh Alcorn, walked 4 miles early Sunday morning to Interstate 71 near her middle-class King Mills neighborhood an hour southwest of Columbus. She was struck by a tractor-trailer and died, the accident closing the freeway for more than an hour, reports Cincinnati.com. Her suicide and "sorry" posts were viewed nearly 200,000 times in the first two days, and the hashtag #LeelahAlcorn topped Twitter.

"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," Leelah wrote. "Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better. My death needs to mean something." In her "sorry" post, she told her parents, "You just can't control other people like that." The National Center for Transgender Equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force reported in 2010 that 41% of the 7,000 transgender people they surveyed said they'd attempted suicide. (In Australia, one mother backed her teen's sex change with a retracted birth announcement.)

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