THE BLOG

Leelah Alcorn, Through Her Friends' Eyes

02/01/2015 17:11 GMT | Updated 04/03/2015 10:59 GMT

To most of the Kings community, Josh Alcorn, a student at Kings High School, was a well-known name. After Alcorn's tragic death, it appears that Leelah is now making her debut.

On Sunday, December 28, around 2:00am, Alcorn took her own life near Kings Mill, Ohio.

Most of us knew her as Josh. Josh was known to be a fun, caring, music-loving teenager. A group of five remembers her not only as Josh, but as Leelah.

Declan Hayden, a friend of Leelah's since first grade, reflects on her.

"She was someone who I could always trust to understand how people were feeling," Hayden said. "She would always be there and put their priorities ahead of her own so that she could help them."

Leelah's last Tumblr note, published automatically, hoped that one day transgender people would be treated differently to her.

We all knew at that point we had to do something for our friend. It had to make an impact and I know we were all more concerned of whether we could make it happen or not.

The controversy that expanded following Alcorn's death was whether it was appropriate to call Alcorn "Josh" or her preferred transgender name, Leelah.

William Forgham, another close friend to Alcorn said: "I have no problem calling her Leelah. The name matters because it's something so simple."

"The person I was friends with for years is Josh. The person I'll remember is Leelah."

It became a shock after a few days to see our friend all over the internet for what had happened to her. Leelah Alcorn began to appear everywhere.

Katrina Kessler, long time friend of Leelah remembers the first time she came out as transgender.

"It was freshman year, she texted me and told me she had something to tell me, " Katrina remembers.

"I was afraid she had a crush on me. But, then she came out as trans, it actually made my mood a lot better." Katrina goes onto say that the pair texted each other all the time afterwards and their friendship grew even more over time.

"We even drew pictures of ourselves together, she had longer curly hair. It's funny, because I saw her having a crush on me as a bigger deal than what she ended up telling me," Katrina adds.

We all began this huge group chat with the five of us sending each other pictures and screenshot of things we were finding all over Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.

Steven Morford, a friend of Leelah's, states, "I'm sure in time [Leelah's] parents will come to understand both sides of their son - though I wish they had done that long ago," Steven adds.

To continue on with Leelah's wishes, Transgender Human Rights Institute has created a petition in regards of banning transgender conversion therapy. The petition will be delivered to president Barack Obama, senator Harry Reid, and representative Nancy Pelosi.

With around 195,926 supporters, The petition calls for banning transgender therapy, a therapy known to cause harm towards transgender youth by attempting to reverse any child's gender identity.

It has also been asked that the bill be named after Leelah, called "Leelah's Alcorn Law," to start and continue the protection of the transgender youth.

If you wish to sign the petition, click here

Other plans include the Kings High School community holding a fundraiser to raise money to donate towards the Transgender Ohio awareness program