Candlelight vigil planned in Toledo for transgender youthWritten by Staff Reports | | email@example.com
Toledo area lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) groups are holding a candlelight vigil Jan. 4 to honor the life of 17-year-old Leelah Alcorn of Kings Mills, Ohio, near Cincinnati, who committed suicide Dec. 28 by stepping into the path of a tractor-trailer.
According to reports, Alcorn felt rejected by her mother due to her gender identity and expression. Alcorn’s suicide note included a call to action, “Fix Society. Please” and asked that her “death mean something.”
EqualityToledo and newly formed Toledo Transgender Resource Organization (TTRO) will host the vigil, which is set for 7 p.m. Jan. 4 at the corner of 12th Street and Madison Avenue, the site of the attack on Toledo transgender woman Candice Milligan in November.
The vigil is to raise awareness of the struggles of transgender individuals in our community, according to a news release.
“By god…we’re going to make Leelah’s death mean something so it doesn’t happen again,” said TTRO co-founder Lily Briggs in the release. “Toledo’s LGBT community –especially the trans individuals in our area, struggle with poverty, homelessness and discrimination on a daily basis – many times from their families and houses of worship. We need to show them love and compassion. “
Nearly half of transgender teens in America experience depression and have attempted to harm themselves, and 40 percent of suicides are members of the LGBT community, said EqualityToledo Executive Director Dave Crafts.
“This has got to stop!” he said in the release. “We need to come together in love and let these folks know that they are loved for who they are and who they want to be.”
Crafts suggested LGBTQ youth struggling with depression or who need a listening ear call The Trevor Project, available 24/7 at 1-866-488-7386.