On the 28th of December 2014 Leelah Alcorn, a trans girl from Kings Mills, Ohio, was found dead on the Interstate 71, having killed herself.
In her widely publicised final words published on her Tumblr blog, she gave the cause of death as a lack of access to trans-related healthcare and the associated sense of helplessness in the face of systemic transmisogyny. In light of Leelah’s death, there has been an unprecedented outpouring of grief and anger by the trans community and its allies, with well known celebrities such as Stephen Fry and Laverne Cox voicing their anger across social media platforms. In addition to this a petition, which currently has around 200 000 signatures, has been produced that calls for an end to transgender conversion therapy, one of the direct causes of Leelah’s hopelessness. Finally there have been candlelit vigils across the world, the largest being the ‘Stand Up 4 Leelah Candle Vigil’ in Columbus, Ohio on January 2nd.
In response to aforementioned events, we the trans community of London and the surrounding areas stand in solidarity with the vigils occurring across the globe, and at 1pm on Saturday 3rd of January we too will come together to memorialise Leelah Alcorn.
This vigil will take place in Trafalgar square and serves four purposes. First it is there simply to remember a life cut so short by someone that shared our struggles, a girl killed by systemic transmisogyny. Second it is there to remind people that her death was a political death, that when a member of our community is brutalised at the hands of oppression we must all fight back. Third it is a reminder to other folks that we are more than just individuals in this struggle, that as a community we are stronger and that we can create positive change. It is deeply saddening that Leelah’s parents are still refusing to give her the basic respect she deserves, even in death, and so the fourth purpose of this vigil is to do what they will not and mourn a sister.
Facebook Event: www.facebook.com/events/743397569080952