The queer community is still reeling from the suicide of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn. Now, the mother of another queer teen who took his own life is speaking out about Alcorn's death.
Jane Clementi, the mother of Tyler Clementi, took to the Internet this week to take a stand about Alcorn's high-profile suicide and what this means for the queer community.
A Rutgers student who tragically took his own life in 2010, Tyler Clementi committed suicide just days after his roommate broadcast a video on the Internet of him having a sexual encounter with another man. Clementi's suicide sparked a national dialogue about suicide rates among lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth -- an issue that is clearly still a reality in 2015.
“We, as a culture, must teach the lesson each day that all life has value and has purpose -- especially the lives of all young people, regardless of who they are," Jane Clementi stated. "That’s an irrevocable value. The only way to make a difference in this world –- to truly change hearts and minds -- is through celebrating and accepting every life.
Nobody knows better than my family that ending life cannot create change. After Tyler took his life, our mission has been to ensure that no family endures the pain that Tyler and Leelah both endured and that we are sure that the Alcorns are experiencing. It’s only by building a world where every life is sacred that we move forward.”
Alcorn took her own life several days after Christmas, leaving behind a viral Tumblr note that alleged her parents forced her to undergo reparative therapy for her gender identity. Her final words in the note were a plea to "fix society," sparking a national conversation about the dangers of reparative therapy for LGBT youth.
If you're feeling suicidal, please talk to somebody. You can reach The Trevor Project at 1-866-488-7386 or The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-8255. If you don't like the phone, check out Crisis Text Line. If you're not in the U.S., click here for information on crisis centers around the world. You can read the stories of people across the U.S. who have survived suicide attempts at Live Through This.