Deep in My Heart, I Do Believe

54a413ea26b17_651x620As have many have done, I have been mourning the tragic life and death of Leelah Alcorn.  I never met her, and I am in no position to judge her family, but her story has brought me to tears.  For her to be so rejected by her loved ones that she felt the need to end her life makes me heartsick.  Heartsick for her and heartsick for those who continue to suffer as she did in a system that rejects the very core of who they are.  I was especially saddened by this story reporting that Leelah’s mother has said that “‘We Loved Him Unconditionally’ But ‘Don’t Support That, Religiously‘.” I have to admit, while I am trying very hard to not judge as soon as I read that I thought, “That family really needs a lesson on what ‘Unconditional’ means.”  I wish that Leelah’s mother had learned the same lesson about “unconditional love” that my friend Wendy Williams Montgomery did when her son Jordan came out to her as gay. Leelah’s family and those like them from conservative religious families and communities whose children are LGBT could learn a lot from the Montgomery family and all those involved with the “Family Acceptance Project.”  I HIGHLY encourage all who read this to visit their website and share their videos and materials.

I believe that FULL acceptance of ALL of Heavenly Father and Heavenly Mother’s children will come someday.  Deep in my heart, I do believe that it will come.  For now, For Leelah, for Jordan, for Fred, for Leahnora and for all of my friends and loved ones that for various reasons that I cannot name here I want to dedicate these two performances of “We Shall Overcome” with the wish that these heartfelt performances of this wonderful song will give hope and assurances that you are loved, that you are not alone, and that there are a great many of us who are here for you.


5 replies »

  1. The dialectic “We love you, but do not support you” rhetoric leaves me befuddled. In discussions of a related topic (marriage equality), I have asked my religiously-conservative friends to explain what it looks like “not to condone” something. What sorts of actions do you take when you don’t condone something? What do you say?

    I love you, but…BUT! Gah.

  2. The sense I have is that the parents simply didn’t realize the seriousness of the situation. They obviously loved their son, but when he came out to them as transgender they simply set it aside as something that would pass or could be easily dealt with through counseling from a Christian therapist. In reality, the need to gender transition can be a matter of life and death.

    Leelah wanted her final act to mean something and help others. I hope that widespread sharing of her story will help better educate society and prevent other tragedies like this one.

  3. To put it another way, the church and society need to understand that gender dysphoria is a medical issue. It is not behavior to be supported or rejected depending on one’s religious ideologies. It is not the same as accepting or rejecting same-sex marriage.

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