Leelah Alcorn suicide: Parents 'stopped best friend from going to transgender teenager's funeral'

The teenager's friend said Ms Alcorn's parents blamed her for posting images on social media

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The Independent US

A close friend of Leelah Alcorn, the 17-year-old who took her own life after her parents refused her demand to live as a woman, was allegedly prevented from attending the teenager’s funeral.

The mother of Abby Jones, Ms Alcorn’s friend and the person who posted photographs of her after took her life, said the youngster had wanted to attend the funeral but was banned from doing so by Ms Alcorn’s parents.

“Her mom called and blamed Abby for everything that got posted online, even though Leelah’s page was public,” Ms Jones’ mother, Danielle Pieper-Jones, told the Daily Mail.

“My daughter just wanted to say goodbye to her best friend. They did not allow her to go to the funeral… had no right to call and harass my daughter.”

Ms Alcorn, who lived near Cincinnati, Ohio, took her life last month by stepping in front of a truck. Before doing so she posted a message on her Tumblr account. In it she explained that her parents, who are devout Christians, would not allow her to live as a woman.

“The life I would’ve lived isn't worth living in...because I'm transgender,” the teenager wrote. “To put it simply, I feel like a girl trapped in a boy’s body, and I've felt that way ever since I was four.”

Transgender teenager Leelah Alcorn

Despite the death, her mother Carla Alcorn continued to refuse to use female pronouns, saying. Speaking on CNN, Mrs Alcorn said that when the teenager told her parents of her r desire to live as woman, they told her: “We don't support that, religiously.”

She added: “But we told him that we loved him unconditionally. We loved him no matter what. I loved my son. People need to know that I loved him. He was a good kid, a good boy.”

Reports say Ms Alcorn’s funeral was held on 2 January. The venue was changed at last minute, as the Northeast Church of Christ in Cincinnati cited threats against the Alcorn family.

On Sunday, the television series Transparent about a father who comes out as transgender to his adult children won Best Television Series at the Golden Globes at the weekend. The show’s writer took to the stage to dedicate the honour to Ms Alcorn.

“This award is dedicated to Leelah Alcorn and transgender people who died too young,” said writer Jill Soloway. “This award is dedicated to the memory of Leelah Alcorn … And I just want to thank you for coming out. Maybe we’ll teach the world something about authenticity, and truth, and love…. to love.”

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