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Funeral of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn moved after threats made to family

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Leelah Alcorn, who was born with the name Joshua, walked in front of an oncoming truck and was crushed to death on Sunday morning. (Photo: Tumblr/Leelah Alcorn)

Leelah Alcorn, who was born with the name Joshua, walked in front of an oncoming truck and was crushed to death on Sunday morning. (Photo: Tumblr/Leelah Alcorn)

Leelah in a photo she posted on her Tumblr account (Photo: Tumblr/Leelah Alcorn)

Leelah in a photo she posted on her Tumblr account (Photo: Tumblr/Leelah Alcorn)

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Leelah Alcorn, who was born with the name Joshua, walked in front of an oncoming truck and was crushed to death on Sunday morning. (Photo: Tumblr/Leelah Alcorn)

The funeral of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn was moved after threats were reportedly made to her family.

The 17-year-old teen from Ohio tragically took her own life last week, by walking in front of a truck.  According to reports, she was buried in Cincinnati, Ohio, on Friday at a different location to the one previously advertised.

Mourners and supporters, who were not informed of the location switch, arrived at the Northeast Church of Christ to find a note simply saying the funeral had been “postponed.”

According to the local minister, the venue was changed due to threats, but he declined to comment on their nature. The funeral is believed to have taken place at Hodapp Funeral Home that morning instead.

Leelah Alcorn, who was born with the name Joshua, was crushed to death after walking in front of an oncoming truck last Sunday morning.

She left behind a suicide note on her Tumblr blog, in which she said she had been forced by parents to undergo conversion therapy, which seeks to change sexual orientation through counselling. The practice has been banned in two states on grounds it is medically unfounded and puts children in danger.

In a recent interview with CNN, Leelah’s mother Carla Alcorn, repeatedly referred to her daughter as a boy, saying that "we don’t support that, religiously."

"We don't support that, religiously,” Mrs Alcorn said in the interview. “But we told him that we loved him unconditionally. We loved him no matter what. I loved my son. People need to know that I loved him. He was a good kid, a good boy."

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Leelah in a photo she posted on her Tumblr account (Photo: Tumblr/Leelah Alcorn)

Leelah in a photo she posted on her Tumblr account (Photo: Tumblr/Leelah Alcorn)

Leelah in a photo she posted on her Tumblr account (Photo: Tumblr/Leelah Alcorn)

Leelah had had left a message condemning her parents’ behaviour. In a separate post on her blog, posted after the suicide note, Leelah wrote: "Mom and dad: F**k you. You can’t just control other people like that. That’s messed up."

Mrs Alcorn claimed that her daughter was depressed and had never told her how she was really feeling. "He just quit talking about it (being transgender)," she said, adding that she had never heard the name Leelah.

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She said that she always felt "like a girl trapped in a boy’s body" since the age of four and had "cried of happiness" when she first came across the term transgender.

But she said she began to feel hopeless after realising her parents "would never come around" and allow her to transition.

A number of celebrities took to Twitter in support of Leelah after hearing of her death, including Stephen Fry and actress Mia Farrow.

The Transgender Human Rights Institute have started a petition on Change.org to “call upon the President of the United State- Barack Obama, and the Leadership of the House and Senate to immediately seek a pathway for banning the practice known as 'transgender conversion therapy.”

The petition, entitled ‘Leelah Acron’s Law’ has already amassed over 200,000 signatures.

A number of vigils are reportedly to be held around Cincinnati in memory of Leelah. Meanwhile a Facebook group called Justice for Leelah Alcorn has garnered over 27,000 likes and a change.org petition to have Leelah written on her tombstone has amassed over 65,000 signatures.

If you have been affected by any issues raised in this article, please contact Samaritans on (01) 872 7700


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