Last night, I read about how your trans daughter killed herself. Then, I read any number of incorrect articles about how your “son,” your words and the media’s, accidentally died while taking a walk. Make no mistake, it was no accident. More correctly, it was suicide, but I am many who think that you and your husband had a direct influence on your daughter’s death.
I am sure this is a difficult time for you, whether or not you subscribe to the truth. But consider this.
Your daughter’s entire life was difficult for her.
She admits to spending a decade — 10 long years — uncomfortable in her own body. In her blog, she talks about feeling awash with relief upon discovering out what it means to be trans. She rushed to you, wanting to share in an intimate and vulnerable moment, and you shut her down. You told her that she was confused and going through a phase. You told her to consider your feelings and your social standing while never considering her own feelings, feelings that were surely tumultuous and more difficult than anything you, as a white, Christian, cisgendered woman have ever experience.
You tried to force her to abandon her true self. But I knew better. She knew better. Humans just can’t do that. You tried to force her to keep her wings still, and when she tried to fly, you clipped them. You cut her off from her freedom, her friends and any sort of social connection.
Why? Because you don’t understand? Or because you were afraid of how it would make your family look?
Carla, let me tell you how you look now.
You look hateful and spiteful. You look shallow. You look like a bad parent. You look, to some, like a fucking murderer. You look like a monster.
You look like someone whose denial is so strong that she’s painfully close to insanity.
You look like part of the problem, a problem that your daughter wrote and cried about in depth. A problem that ultimately took her life.
It is easy enough for me to forget that trans and homophobia exist with so many happy and smiling trans faces, but it’s dangerous to do so when those opinions still exist and they’re still killing people like Leelah.
I have no hope that you would ever see this, Carla. You’re probably hiding out because many people have attacked you after you continued to spew ignorance and hate after your daughter’s suicide. I know I should be a better person, but I cannot help but think this is karmic retribution for the way you attacked your daughter during her life and the way you’re somehow still managing to attack her in her death.
I couldn’t begin to understand how your daughter felt, Carla, but I can imagine how I would respond in your position in a parent. Hint: you failed your daughter.
I am privileged in many ways, with my skin color and sexual orientation and able body. In fact, we are privileged in the same ways as far as I know. Yet you drove your daughter to suicide and I will stand up for her rights, even in her death.
So, Mrs Alcorn, I apologize for your loss. It will hurt no matter how you look at it. But your pain is nothing like the pain you caused your daughter, and all of this could have been avoided if you were a better person. I have no doubt you will come to this realization. Perhaps on your death bed. Perhaps some night as you lie awake, tossing and turning, in your own comfortable bed.
And when you do, Carla Alcorn, I hope you pick up the torch your daughter has lit, cease your involvement as part of the problem and help to make the world a place where people like Leelah will want to live. After all, you owe Leelah her life.