Leelah Alcorn (November 15, 1997 – December 28, 2014) was an American
transgender girl whose suicide attracted international attention. At age
14, she came out as transgender to her parents, and at 16, she asked to
undergo transition treatment; instead, they sent her to conversion
therapy. After she revealed her attraction toward males to her
classmates, her parents removed her from school and revoked her access
to social media. She killed herself by walking into highway traffic. In
her suicide note, Alcorn blamed her parents for her loneliness and
alienation, and asked people to pay more attention to discrimination and
abuse faced by transgender youth. LGBT rights activists cited the
incident as evidence of the problems she wrote about, and vigils were
held in her memory. Petitions that called for the establishment of
“Leelah’s Law”, a ban on conversion therapy in the U.S., received a
supportive response from President Barack Obama. Within a year, her
hometown of Cincinnati, Ohio, criminalized conversion therapy.
Today’s selected anniversaries:
Alaric II succeeded his father Euric as king of the Visigoths.
Galileo became the first person to observe the planet Neptune,
although he mistakenly catalogued it as a fixed star.
History of film: Using their cinematograph in Paris, the
Lumière brothers showed motion pictures to a paying audience for the
World War II: After eight days of brutal house-to-house
fighting, the 1st Canadian Infantry Division captured Ortona, Italy.
The passenger ferry MS Norman Atlantic caught fire in the
Adriatic Sea, resulting in nine deaths, with a further 19 missing.
Wiktionary’s word of the day:
1. (chiefly South Australia) An Australian indigenous shelter made from
small branches with the leaves still attached.
2. (chiefly South Australia, by extension) A settlement made up of such
Wikiquote quote of the day:
Young man, in mathematics you don’t understand things. You just
get used to them.
–John von Neumann
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