FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 2, 2015

TLDEF Mourns the Loss of Leelah Alcorn; Urges Support for Transgender Youth


New York, NY — The Transgender Legal Defense & Education Fund (TLDEF) voices profound sadness at the recent passing of Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teenager from Ohio who died by suicide on Sunday, December 28.  Alcorn’s story has received widespread national attention, and has triggered an outpouring of grief from the LGBT community and its allies, as well as a call to help transgender youth in need.

Statement from Executive Director Michael Silverman

“We join the LGBT and allied community in mourning the loss of Leelah Alcorn, a young transgender woman who was trying to live her life authentically but struggled to find family acceptance, as noted in the heartbreaking letter she left behind. Leelah’s story highlights the need for families and communities to support transgender youth and let them know they are not alone. There are resources to assist them and we must help young people access these support systems so that they can find a path to happiness, well-being and self-acceptance.”

TLDEF urges transgender young people who are seeking support to contact The Trevor Project. The organization has a 24-hour crisis hotline to help youth in need: 1-866-488-7386.

TLDEF also urges parents with transgender children who are seeking support and guidance to contact PFLAG, the nation’s largest LGBT family and ally organization.

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