"I don't care who you love, or how you love, just so long as you have a heart filled with love."
I wonder what difference these words would have made had they come from the lips of Carla Alcorn, the mother of transgender teenager Leela Alcorn, born as Joshua some 17 years prior. Alas Leela will never get to hear these words as she took her own life further to the refusal of her parents to accept her choices due to their religious convictions. Now whilst you probably expect me to lay into religion itself at this point that isn't the purpose of this post. I'd rather focus on what seems to me a very simple and obvious truth, namely that Leela was doing no harm in wanting to transition from male to female, and that as the latter she may have lived a richer and fuller life free from internal struggle. Yet those closest to her could not see this, instead deeming her desires, which incidentally had been evident to Leela from the age of four, as merely a phase.
I don't even want to condemn the parents, because right now they are grieving, and I do not doubt for a second that they loved their child. Isn't it sad that they held convictions which actively damaged her, corroding her fledgling teenage mind to such an extent that she felt suicide was the only way out. I see only victims here, although we cannot entirely disregard the silly and nonsensical views of the mother and father, blinded as they were by their religion, placing the dogma of church teaching above the desire to see their child become the truest version of themselves. This to me seems to meet the textbook definition of tragedy. They must be grieving awfully, and perhaps their faith may give them some comfort. But we shouldn't be blind to the fundamental truth that it was these teachings, or rather the abject lack of compassion inherent within them that served as catalyst for the ensuing chain of events.
I don't want to live in a world where parents are so deceived. I don't want to live in a world where a child feels so rejected and misunderstood that they seek to take their own lives. As the proud father of two daughters I just want it known that I fully intend to live as per the very first sentence of this blog. Girls, I do not concern myself with the gender of the person you love, nor the manner in which you choose to express this. I will delight in the fact that you have love, that you wish to bestow love, and that you live in the riches of that.