Charissa Comments On Leelah

So…at last I think I can comment about the tragic death of Leelah Alcorn.  There has been a maelstrom of emotions inside me over this.

I won’t list them here, because some of them may shock, outrage, or worry some of you.  Suffice to say that I absolutely and completely understand in my marrow the very heart-fire of what she wrote in her note.

But what is more interesting to me is this:  her parents had a choice to make…a choice about gender, gender orientation, and even a choice about Who God Is in light of Gender.  They had to either choose to reach out to their child in spite of their own feelings about gender and what it is and how it is derived, or to slap her down in the name of the binary.  They had to either love their child in spite of anything, everything that she had done or failed to do, and love her just because she was here and gifted to them…or to repudiate her in the name of who they conceive God to be in their own small and stony hearts…

Well, actually let’s boil it down further:  they either had to choose to love Leelah, or love themselves.tumblr_nhhqy6QtCa1tuw8wbo1_1280

That is the bottom line.  Let me unpack this a bit for you.

First, let’s start with gender, and the crucial thing here is to really feel the distate and horror they had for a transgender person, the visceral reaction they had to what they felt was wrong wrong WRONG!  Oh Constance, how is it not more clear, the strong and unchangeable thing that gender orientation is!!?  Because their rejection of who Leelah was and the feelings that they had?  They are the same feelings and depth and strength and absolute that transgender people feel inside about who we are gendered as!

They would rather see her die than to see her live as a gender they thought she was not…and I will confess that I would rather die than live any longer as who and what I am not.  That is not a life anyway, and never was, not at its core.

They imagined that it would be torture for them, to see Leelah dressed properly female but to their eyes looking like a clown (one of my former best friends told me that I look like a clown, by the way, thanks for that, former 33 year friend)!  They pictured a life of seeing her over years and that making them uncomfortable.Image 002

Constance…this is how we feel…transgender people…when we live in a world where our very breathing is transgressive!  And to walk around being in such a way to reduce the absolute hatred we face from others when we are ourselves is to choose to be something that is indescribable agony inside ourselves to be!  We get treated “fine” (and that means with indifference and left alone)…but it is an abattoir inside our hearts as our own life blood is spattered on the walls of our souls as we claw at our chests trying to tear the pain out of our hearts!tumblr_nfb8vsABbE1qznvrxo1_r1_400

But wait!!  We can take hormones!  We can dress properly…and even better, we can actually have medical attention that literally transforms that pain into joy, and fills that horrible void with presence!  The statistical evidence is overwhelming on this point, by the way.  But it comes with a price:  we exchange our inner torment for torment and rejection from our social groups and culture.  The torment just changes location…sadly, most people in our society are just like Leelah’s parents and they  begin to exercise the dominance of the binary.  They want to avoid their own discomfort and are willing for us to die, whether it be by our own hand or theirs.

That is the choice we have:  suffer in how we are made…or suffer at our own hand…or suffer from the hands of other people.tumblr_nh62vnYyO81u6arw9o1_500

Because God forbid that my choice of clothing and presentation make anyone uncomfortable or antsy, right?  Better that I just go away, or even better, change back…I am blood guilty, after all, of “wasting a perfectly good man” as another 3 decade long friend said to me in utter seriousness after 3 and a half hours of me trying to explain to him what it is like.

But that brings us to the next point in regards to the Leelah Alcorn tragedy:  Who is this God that Leelah’s parents supposedly worship and live for?  What is this God like?

Well, if we look honestly at this situation, Leelah’s parents believed that they themselves would be guilty of sin if they reached out to Leelah and did whatever it took to be sure she was mentally stable, healthy and able to actually live everyday without being bullied, othered or policed.  They literally believe that God would call them unfaithful sinners and accuse them of enabling their child to be in sin, and then remove all blessing or protection or support from their lives.

They see God being who they themselves are!  To their way of looking at it, Leelah’s suicide was the lesser of two evils, and really they actually are implying that God would say to them “Well Done, Good and Faithful Servants!  You held the line against immorality and sin, even at the cost of your own child!  You sacrificed your own flesh and blood for your own standing as righteous and defending My Honor!”tumblr_necznlA2Ma1r1arpmo1_1280

That’s essentially what happens inside their heart…they were willing to endure the death of their child in a horrific way, and live with that their entire lives, her blood crying out in every sunrise and sunset…because they think that brings God pleasure.

Where did they get this picture of God?  I really want to know this!  Because they certainly did not get this from the Bible, a book that I have read countless times and studied for years at various stages of life and maturity.

Here is who the Bible says God is…the Father who had children who chose selfishness, self-worship, hatred, strife, murder, envy, greed, malice, war, slaughter, wantonness, foolishness and darkness instead of simple fellowship with Him.  So THIS Father did something completely other than what Leelah’s parents did.  This Father instead searched out His children, went where they were, and gave a manifestation of His Heart on their behalf.  He didn’t require them to die for their deeds and lives…instead He had His own Heart die for us instead, as a transaction of love which covers everything.tumblr_ng20au91Nc1s2z59jo1_500

When you love your children regardless of their actions, reactions, deeds, words, silences…well you are imitating God that that finds great favor…when you put your children to death with your own words, deeds, actions and reactions…well flat out you are imitating the devil and worshiping yourself…because the only spiritual beings who take pleasure in evil are satanic and people who put themselves above everything else.

So this post is a very emotional and very crappy piece of writing.  I am too close to it to not be all over the map…but just try to grasp these things:

The horror that cis-gender people feel when they are around us is nothing compared to the primary horror we are inside ourselves waking up and finding our heart/soul/mind/spirit at complete odds with the body we walk around in and are consigned to for everyday of our lives, and the secondary horror we will cause ourselves if we dare to give away who and what we are or even worse if we avail ourselves of the medical miracles there are which will almost entirely cure us.

It is the same absolute for us that we are not congruent inside and outside as it is for cis-gendered people that we are just mentally ill and can be fixed so we are just like them.

These two points illustrate the lie that has so long deceived us all…that gender is derived from plumbing…because if that all it is why do they freak out so bad if they even think about dressing or acting different?  Wouldn’t it be as inconsequential as being in costume for a play?  That it is NOT that inconsequential proves absolutely that gender is something inside and it is what it is!!

I mean, I truly think they would rather us kill ourselves than let us live and move and have our beings just like them!  But if we are too stubborn to kill ourselves, there are plenty of brutes every year who are happy to execute us for the sin of breaking the binary.tumblr_ndrlprYaIl1txj8zfo7_250

It is so strong that they will even remake who God is to justify it…well, sadly, God gets remade all the time to justify the evil that people do.

I hurt and suffer as a human being, in common with everyone else…but I hurt and suffer as a transgender person in addition to that…and I hurt and suffer additional burdens because of what others do and say, fail to do and say…and I hurt and suffer at the lies that people live out as testimony of who they think God is.

Because that is not who They are.tumblr_nc9u51asVe1qa5hedo1_500

Now the confession that I have been avoiding:  in all truth, I am envious of Leelah, because in the midst of all the sorrow and horror and grief, her own torment has ended…and that prospect, of that low grade fever buzz of wrong being gone finally and there being blessed silence, sweetness, and rest…well that is something that I wish I could have.

And I feel a huge amount of guilt over that envy…because it is very clear to me that were I to seek relief it would be at the lifelong expense of many people I am connected to, and I would buy my own release with their pain…and that is unacceptable to me…so I sit…and mourn Leelah even while I am longing for what she now has…and feeling this awful mix of guilt and cowardice and bleakness…and thank God for Them, and They do bring comfort and joy and security even in the midst…no, especially in the midst.

I have many blessings…I have inner peace in terms of the Ultimate End of things…but I struggle, oh I struggle so hard, and I truly fear at times that I am not up to the task of being.  I try to be honest with myself, and that means feelings…but then again I am not like other people and able to just rise above them.  And that adds to the guilt and shame of not being good enough.

I wish I knew if Leelah would want me to live…I think she would, actually, because I think she wanted to live…it just got too hard, too heavy.tumblr_mx5becxnZE1shqs68o1_500

Hey Constance…regardless of your feelings about gender…if you have any feelings what so ever about being a good person?  Try making the burden lighter for people…with compassion, kindness, tender heartedness and smiles, instead of heavier with judgment and rejection.  You would be amazed to know what one kind word can do.

Confused rambly Charissa is now done gushing and vomiting.

Sorry for the succumbing to the passion and letting it produce a big messy dump of a post…I just could not live with all this inside me any longer.




12 thoughts on “Charissa Comments On Leelah

  1. Leelah’s parents are horrible evil people who use Christianity to hide how terrible they really are. I am a parent and I would put my life on the line for my children. I support them even when they make poor choices, they are my children and i love them unconditionally. Just because you can make a child doesn’t mean that you are a parent. These people are not worthy to be called parents. Your post as always is spot on and wonderfully written.

  2. Dear Sister…..I am so sorry your heart is so heavy, This made me weep just like her story did,,,So heartbreaking. As a Mother, I cannot fathom a parent turning their back on a child for ANY reason, EVER. That is one love that is supposed to be unconditional, eternal…I have asked the question almost daily for many tears for a reason I will not go into since my little troubles that I thought were so big are so tiny compared to this pain that I see through your words.. Please, never doubt yourself and your journey. I am just a simple person, a Mother, a friend, a sister…and I may not understand what you are going through, but, I do know love and it breaks my heart to hear your pain and hers and I just wanted to reach out and say I care because words are all I have, but they mean so much when from a true heart ❤

    • Lynda, it helps a lot to read these things, especially your comment about words and their meaning for you which I know is true from your poetic heart. I would, however, be interested sometime in your perspective about why…why stay here, hang in here and not just go? Certainly it seems that everyone feels like suicide is tragic and so sad…I feel that way concerning others…but those arguments ring hollow and seem small in the night after the nightmares have their way and that special hell called dysphoria runs amok…it is then that I struggle hardest to “get it”.

      It was early this morning, sometime after 1 AM, and the usual wolves howled until they were hoarse and silent, and then the silence howled for them, and I was crying and talking to Mama, and She gave me some answers, She began to draw lines between what I was and who I am. She told me to not be so hard on myself.

      But yeah…anytime you have any insights into the worthiness of the continue…the continue…and then the next day the continue…I would love them.

      Thanks for loving me from afar, for setting aside your own wounds from hurt and rejection and violation and abandonment, and reaching to touch my heart with humor and love and simple tenderness.

      • Charissa, I have many thoughts on suicide that stem from reasons too personal to share in a public forum (because I am basically a private person,) but, you want me to give you my thoughts on why you should continue. First of all, that the world needs more people who are caring, loving and have something to give to others. You have a venue to help others through your experiences and your talent for writing and expressing your emotions. I believe that we were all put here for a reason. Another reason that you should stay is ..The pain that you feel from the tragedy that has left you so heartbroken, that is what others will feel if you were not here. Suicide affects the ones who love us. Even some who do not even know us. Knowing the giving, caring, loving , compassionate person that you are, I do not believe that you would want that. I do not know what you are going through. I believe that no one knows exactly what someone else is experiencing because no two lives are ever the same. I do know that I have been through A LOT and there were times I felt like giving up. I remember one particular day when I was going over a bridge and I had some pretty terrible thoughts…All of a sudden, the sky became brighter and I could hear “What a wonderful world” in my head and everything looked different. I never felt those thoughts again after that day, no matter how bad things got because I feel like my prayers are answered one way or another. It may not be the answer I was hoping for, but, it all works out in the end. As for you, my dear lady, I do not think I am giving you the answer that you are seeking, but, if you keep searching your wonderful soul, I think you will discover the reasons why we all need you here. God gave you passion, compassion and a venue to express it. That alone is a reason to stay ❤

        • I’m crying from this Sis…so touched by what you said and I will carry this in my heart as food. It certainly is more nourishing than the well intentioned platitudes so often divvied out like daisies.

          The notion that it gets better isn’t one I trust, for there is no certainty there. Things have gotten a lot worse for me in so many ways.

          But what you said about others…well that grabbed me good.

          • I was afraid I would make you angry, but, I had to attempt to make you see just how much we cherish your presence, your words, your encouragement, enlightenment and everything that makes you.YOU 🙂 love and hugs, sis

            • Okay…no sooner than I got myself together and watched the game awhile with my baby and then got on my computer to read this and go into fresh tears!! Lynda, of course I would not be angry with you for the sharing of your soul and deep heart. This is the only currency I truly consider sacred and receive as such. In fact, it is the reason I ask the Qs I ask in the first place, because I have them…for real. And in the face of the Qs when the dynamics of difficulty are exponential, well all the good common sense reasons just don’t make that much sense.

              I am so blessed that you re-focused me on what never changes…the worthiness of self-sacrifice and devotion to my fellow creatures of our God of Love and Grace.

              It is hard at times to really receive that I am anything other than the epithets hurled at me so often.

              Although I should add this: we found a WONDERFUL church where I am only known ever as myself and am openly and warmly received there

  3. “But it comes with a price: we exchange our inner torment for torment and rejection from our social groups and culture. The torment just changes location…”

    This brings me such sadness, Sis, knowing that there is so little I can do, unable to zip myself into your skin and Know on That level. What I can do is Love and show kindness and hope to encourage the same in others.

  4. You beat up yourself over this piece- referring to gushing and vomiting. It was not vomiting- not to read it, my dear friend. Gushing? Yes. But I tend to gush- maybe not publicly but I’m so very private. I gush all the same and I see nothing wrong with it.

    To say that I can feel the pain in this writing is a massive understatement. It was nearly impossible for me to finish reading it because it just hurt so much. I think Leelah hit the community at an incredibly vulnerable time. I’m not sure why it’s so vulnerable. Maybe it was her life or maybe it was just that we can’t keep having our newsfeeds filled with suicides. Another child whose parents did not support her.

    You most definitely needed to get this out. My heart continues to ache for you, for Kris, for Leelah and everyone who lives with this. You continue to write what you need to write. Your writing is the fuel I need to keep myself going when at times I just want to stop. And your writing gives me the confirmation I desperately need that I’ve been doing the right thing for my family.

    I don’t know if you realize how much of a compass you are for me at times. Your grace, wisdom, compassion, friendship, humor and courage guide me so often.

    • I am so overwhelmed, honored, truly honored to be in your life…and to give you the sacred and funny name my Sissa

      I simply receive what you said, and double down on just being lil ole Rissa Roo!!

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