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Content note for suicide.

Leelah Alcorn taking a selfieWhen you finish reading this paragraph, please take a moment of silence and contemplation to commemorate the death of Leelah Alcorn, a 17 year old trans girl who lost her life to suicide this week as a result of transantagonism.  In order to value Leelah’s own words about her experience and decision, we ask those who feel able to read her final message (content note: this is Leelah’s suicide note).  Sadly, Leelah’s tumblr has been taken offline in an act of further silencing and erasing of her identity and life.  However, her message is still available in a cached version and has been preserved by others on their sites.  In order to combat this silencing and honor her last wishes to be heard, we ask you to please read Leelah’s last words if you feel able, and then to take a moment of contemplation.

If you identify as trans, please know that the entire DDP editor circle is thinking of you during this difficult time and sending you care and support. If you identify as cis, please take this moment to think about ways in which you, personally, can make a difference in reducing the hostilities that our trans siblings experience so painfully and often.

One way you can immediately take action is to sign these petitions.  One is requesting Leelah’s parents to honor her identity by engraving her tombstone with her chosen name.  The second is requesting the United States government to legislate against a form of abuse known as “Transgender Conversion Therapy,” which causes enormous suffering and harm to trans individuals.

When you finish your moment of contemplation, remember that for things to change, it is crucial to listen when others speak out.  Head over to the #RealLiveTransAdult hashtag on Twitter to read the stories of brave trans individuals who are sharing their experiences and lives as a trans adult. Please share the #RealLiveTransAdult hashtag and conversation with anyone you know, whether trans individuals struggling to see a future for themselves, or cisgendered individuals who need to educate themselves about trans people’s humanity, that their lives and right to self-determination are intrinsically worth supporting and caring about.