I’ve been off the internet and only heard her story a couple of days ago. If you’ve been AWOL too, I’ll catch you up.
Leela was born a boy on the outside and a girl on the inside. To ultra-religious parents who sent her for faith-based counseling to change her mind. Punished her by taking her out of school and barring her from online support. Told her God didn’t make mistakes, which by their interpretation, meant she was immoral and crazy to feel the way she did.
I love it when people tell you how wrong your feelings are.
So Leela stepped in front of a semi. Her suicide note came up later, on her Tumblr.
Oh, it’s been taken down. As well as her mother’s note on Facebook mourning her “son’s accident”.
Read the note. It’s a little self-serving and demand-y, but it’s also bleeding with despair. And I do not see how her parents could refuse to bleed with her.
Parents have dreams for their children. I’ve always hoped all mine end up with fulfilling careers and an opposite-gendered spouse and chubby, curly-haired kids. Because that’s what I think will bring them joy. But if it doesn’t, what’s more important—my dream or their happiness?
I don’t think Leela’s parents had to compromise their beliefs by aiding Joshua’s transition to Leela. But they did have a responsibility to send her to unbiased counselors who could help Leela cope and make plans.
And love her.