“I dedicate this blog to my friend Samantha and all other transgender youth who have been affected by this. My heart goes out for them.”
As events continue to unfold with Leelah Alcorn, I felt the need to write a brief follow up to my original post, “Leelah, the child god forgot to save.” If you have not read it or heard of the situation, please check it out, give it a share, and comment on it. In short, the article entailed the suicide of a transgender teen whose parents refused to acknowledge her need and desire to transition from her birth gender of male to her correct gender of female. I asserted that religion played a role in her parent’s decisions and actions. I also posited that if religion was not prominent that the world would be better off and have one less barrier to allowing individuals who identify as transgender to be accepted.
A critique that I received was that my post was aimed too heavily at religion, and that I put religion on the center pedestal, instead of the issue that in this country transgender individuals are marginalized. If this is the way the post came off, I apologize. My intention was not to place religion over transgender issues, but to show the correlation between religion and how closed-minded some individuals are, who hold their religious cards close without ever using skepticism to see if they are marginalizing those who are different. It is still evident that Leelah’s mother and father both still hold their religion over their love for their child. Whether or not they understood what it meant to be transgender probably did not stem solely from their religion, but from the culture we live in that does marginalize transgender individuals and that does not always even understand the issue. Her parents only use their religion as a lens to view the world, and while I still contend that without that lens we would be farther along in accepting transgender individuals, I will accept and promote that her parents failed to truly understand their daughter and learn what it meant to identify as a transgender.