The tragic suicide of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn has sparked a conversation about what it means to be young and transgender, the struggles they face and how parents should react when a child comes out as transgender.

Leaving a poignant suicide note on her tumbler account [which has since been deleted], immediate reactions were of shock, but as the days pass and we as a community pull together our resources to deal with this tragedy, the debate is focusing on one of her final statement, ““My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year,” she continues before logging off, “Fix Society. Please.”

This week as the vigils continue and we begin to focus on ‘next steps’, Ray Toro, the former guitarist for My Chemical Romance, provided the community with a soundtrack to our grief when he dedicated a new track to Leelah Alcorn. Titled “For the Lost and the Brave,” Toro states on his website, “I wrote this song about a year ago, waiting to release it on my record when it was complete. There have been many times that I’ve almost put it out, but have always found a reason to hold it back. But lately there seems to be so much hate and misunderstanding in this world.”

Toro says, “I felt sick. Yet another young life gone because of not being heard, not being understood, and not being unconditionally loved for who they truly were. After hearing her story, and reading her final Tumbler post, I finally felt it was time to share this song.”

“It is time we learn to accept each other for who we truly are. Being seen, heard, and truly loved as our authentic selves is something we all want, and something we all deserve.” The track is available on SoundCloud as a free download.

If you are transgender and are struggling, Trans LifeLine is a suicide hotline specifically for people who are transgender and is staffed 24/7 solely by people who are transgender. Call 1-877-565-8860 or visit translifeline.org for more information.

The Column is a community-supported non-profit news, arts, and media organization. We depend on community support to continue the work of solid LGBT-centric journalism. If you like this article, consider visiting Give MN to make a contribution today.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here