Friday, January 2, 2015

RIP Leelah Alcorn

Recently Tumblr had exploded when a transgender girl named Leelah Alcorn left a suicide note that was scheduled to post a few hours after her death, and when her death made it into the news, everyone soon knew the gravity of her suicide note as more than just someone who was seeking attention and reacted rather huge.

Here are some links of the issue:

Leelah's Suicide Note
Leelah's Wikipedia page
News about her death:…………

I was completely enraged at how bigoted and radical Leelah's parents were for not accepting her as their daughter, and even during their interview, they still continued to call her as their SON rather than their DAUGHTER, as if to completely not acknowledge her true gender and pretend that her coming out never happened. They are completely dishonouring her life and her death by denying her her true gender, and they don't seem to be sorry about that. Like they rather have a dead son than a living daughter.

I was very, VERY tempted to join all those internet vigilantes out there to exact revenge on Leelah's parents. I even went to her mother's Facebook page and I was tempted to click on the message icon so that I can send her a very explicitly worded message to her about her actions. But in the end, I didn't, because this would not bring Leelah back, and it's not exactly the change Leelah would've wanted us to do. And also I would be giving in to hate and it pretty much stoops me to the parents' level and innocent people might get hurt. So I didn't go through with it.

But that doesn't mean I was willing to let it go and not do something about it.

So I drew this.

Click to see full view

Leelah's plight reminded me of my friend :iconcapricornpup:, who was the luckier one in young transgenders' battle to be recognized. We have been friends for quite a long time, I don't even remember for how long, but it's definitely more than 5 years, prolly. He started off as a she, being my greatest fan of my arts and found me through dA, and we were very comfortable with each other. I was surprised at first that he looked almost exactly like me, so I dubbed him "my doppelganger", and even my hubs agree that we were very much alike.
We talked about almost everything, and our thoughts are often in sync with each other. We were the personification of "Great minds think alike" and there was nothing too taboo that we can't discuss. As I got to know him more (when he was still a she), I found out that he has a girlfriend, so my first assumption was that he (she) was a lesbian. I have friends who were bi, and I have friends who were practically asexual, so hearing him saying that he's (she) into girls didn't phase me much. It just made our friendship even more interesting.

Over the years, I watched him change, getting shorter and shorter haircuts and dressing up more and more masculine as the years went by. I didn't think much of it, even celebrated his changes as I assume that since he (she) was the pants in the lesbian relationship, he was just looking the part. It was only until quite recently a few months ago around this year that he decided to come out as a transgender boy. He announced his true gender to me and told me that I am the first of few to know that he is now officially a boy.

I'll admit that I was taken quite by surprise, but it wasn't a negative reaction. I realize that all this time, with his relationship with women while a girl, his haircut, his dress-up, he was slowly but surely transitioning himself to be who he truly is. And the way it looks, it seems that his family and friends are quite accepting of his transition, and I was one of his first online friends to come out to. Of course, I try to help him spread the word to my other chat friends who knows him or is acquainted to him, doing my part to let them know his true gender.

After the Leelah suicide news, I decided to draw this, to express as much context as I could the friendship between :iconcapricornpup: and I shared throughout his transitioning, and it was also my way to contribute to the tribute for Leelah's death. Of course, I shared this picture to :iconcapricornpup: first as I thought he should be the first to see my art before I post it in dA.

His reaction was beyond my expectation. He was literally moved to tears, and was practically speechless, and he even posted it onto his tumblr here to share it with the world, and if I weren't at the office at the time when he gave me the link to read on his tumblr post, I would've actually cried with him.

I feel kinda awkward, I didn't think it would have that much of an impact. I mean technically while I did not grow up in a super religious family, I was never really raised to accept people other than the norm, but thanks to the internet, I was exposed to quite a number of these issues, and something in me just feels like I need to do my part, saying that even if I don't like something, I should tolerate it and not give in to hate, and I believe everyone deserves love, no matter what or who they are. Also if I am passionate about something, I should show my support, in whatever way I can, regardless the consequences.

At least that's what I believe.

I'm just doing my part for society, is all. It reli is NBD to me, technically, but I can see my gesture is a big deal to many that holds this issue near and dear to their heart. But then again it's prolly my Asian-raised qualities to be modest, so it felt like it's NBD. So when I got such an overwhelming response over my insignificant art from a person, I felt a little awkward. Not a bad awkward, a good awkward.

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.

It will mean something, Leelah. Your death may not be unique, but it is the spark that will ignite the flames of the people to rally against the injustice done to your people and will one day unite us all and change the world.

RIP, Leelah Alcorn. You will be remembered.


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