17-year-old Leelah Alcorn walked in front of a tractor-trailer on Sunday

By Tara Fowler
Updated December 31, 2014 04:30 PM
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Credit: Lazerprincess/Tumblr

Early on Sunday morning, Leelah Alcorn walked four miles from her home to Interstate 71 in Ohio, where she stepped in front of a tractor-trailer and was killed.

Hours later, a suicide note appeared posthumously on the 17-year-old’s Tumblr.

“Please don’t be sad, it s for the better,” Leelah, who was born Joshua Alcorn, wrote. “The life I would’ve lived isn’t worth living in because I’m transgender.”

She went on to recount the moment she came out to her conservative Christian parents.

“I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong,” Leelah wrote.

“If you are reading this,” she continued, “parents, please don’t tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say that to someone, especially your kid.

“That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me.”

According to Leelah, her parents took her out of school and banned her from social media. Entirely isolated, she then sank into a deep depression.

“I m never going to be happy with the way I look or sound,” she wrote. “I’m never going to have enough friends to satisfy me. I’m never going to have enough love to satisfy me. I’m never going to find a man who loves me.”

She continued: “Either I live the rest of my life as a lonely man who wishes he were a woman or I live my life as a lonelier woman who hates herself. There’s no winning. There’s no way out.”

Though Leelah wrote that there was no hope for her, she added that she hoped her death would inspire change.

“The only way I will rest in peace is if one day transgender people aren’t treated the way I was, they’re treated like humans, with valid feelings and human rights,” she wrote.

“Gender needs to be taught about in schools, the earlier the better,” she pleaded. “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 fix it. Fix society. Please.”

Leelah’s mother described her child’s death as an accident, writing in a Facebook post: “He was out for an early morning walk and was hit by a truck.”

She also referred to Leelah by her birth name Joshua. The post has since been taken down.

The lengthy letter has sparked an enormous outcry online, with activists in the transgender community trying to raise awareness in the wake of Leelah’s tragic death.

The State Highway Patrol is still investigating the case, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. No charges have been filed as of yet.