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why we wrote about this as the mother of teenagers my heart breaks for this family said Enquirer editor Caroline Washburn but this suicide took place in a very public place and manner we needed to explain what happened and it raises important issues we hope will prompt conversations in families throughout our region in life leelah Alcorn felt alone born Mel she feared she would never be the woman she felt like inside in death the transgender 17-year old born Josh Alcorn wanted to make sure others never felt the way she did 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 Alcorn wrote in a post on the social media blog site tumblr my death needs to mean something she wrote in the post which she scheduled to appear the day after her death that plea marked her final public words on Sunday just before 2 30am Alcorn walked four miles from her middle class kings mills neighborhood with its views of kings island to interstate 71 there she was struck and killed by a tractor trailer the highway was closed for more than an hour by Tuesday evening Leila’s story had become a worldwide story one of how transgender teens often feel alone and afraid the hashtag hash leelah Alcorn was topping twitter news sites worldwide had picked up the story and someone had even created a Wikipedia page for Alcorn the State Highway Patrol continues to investigate no charges have been filed her body was sent to the Montgomery County Coroner for an autopsy which will take several weeks Alcorn’s family declined to comment to the Inquirer in a statement via the Kings local school district the family requested privacy Alcorn’s mother karna wood Alcorn wrote on Facebook Sunday my sweet 16 year old son Joshua Ryan alcohol went home to heaven this morning he was out for an early morning walk and was hit by a truck thank you for the messages and kindness and concern you have sent our way please continue to keep us in your prayers the post has since been taken down according to the school statement Alcorn attended Kings schools and was most recently enrolled as an 11th grader at the Ohio Virtual Academy an online school Joshua Alcorn was a sweet talented tender-hearted 17 year-old the statement from Kings read counselors will be available when students return from winter break before her death Alcorn scheduled her note to post on her tumblr blog at five-thirty p.m. the day of her death a note titled sorry came later in it she told her younger brother and sisters she loved them she thanked her friend Abby Jones for dealing with my pathetic problems and she told her mom and dad you just can’t control other people like that 48 hours after the first note was posted on tumblr it had eighty 2272 views there are no national statistics about how many transgender people commit suicide partly because it’s not always known in 2010 the National Center for transgender equality and the National Gay and Lesbian Task Force reported forty-one percent of 7,000 transgender people surveyed had attempted suicide an analysis of the survey responses by the american foundation for suicide prevention and UCLA law schools Williams Institute last January showed transgenders who experienced rejection by family and friends discrimination victimization or violence of a higher risk of attempting suicide

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