A transgender teenager who killed herself after her Christian parents refused to accept her has left a heartbreaking suicide note.
Leelah Alcorn, 16, stepped in front of a tractor trailer on a rural highway a few kilometres from her family home in Kings Mill, Ohio.
Her mother posted a tribute to her child on Facebook using her birth name Joshua and not mentioning the suicide.
However, the teen had published a note hours before her death on her Tumblr account explaining in detail why she had chosen to end her life.
She says that she identified as a girl from the age of four and that when she discovered that she could be transgender at aged 14 she “cried of happiness”.
“After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was,” she wrote.
Heartbreakingly, her devout Christian mother, Carla Wood Alcorn, refused to accept her desire to identify as a girl.
She wrote: “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.”
Leelah went on: “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.”
She was forced by her parents to see a Christian therapist who told her she was selfish and wrong and should seek God’s help. When she didn’t receive her parents’ consent to transition at aged 16 she cried herself to sleep.
She said she turned against her parents, coming out as gay at school but despite positive responses from her friends she continued to be viewed by her mum and dad as “an embarrassment” because she was not “their perfect little straight christian boy (sic)”.
Writing about her reasons for suicide she said: “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.”
She ended the note: “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 f***ed up” and fix it. Fix society. Please.”
In a short Facebook tribute Carla Wood Alcorn ignored her child’s female persona, calling her Joshua and saying she had gone “home to heaven” after she was hit by a truck during “an early morning walk”.