Leelah

“Leelah”
by Rachel Alter

[Note: The weekend after Christmas, 2014, 17-year-old Leelah Alcorn stepped in front of a tractor-trailer truck on Interstate 71 near her home in Kings Mills, Ohio.   Her parents were hostile to her gender identity and had sent her to their minister for “conversion.”]

Who are you?
Who am I?
You can be you.
Why can’t I be me?

They say I can’t.
They tell me they make the rules.
They tell me who I am.
They. They. They.
Who are they?

They say I must believe them.
Must I?
I can’t believe them.
They say I have no choice.
Don’t I?
I do have a choice.

If I can’t be me, then I can’t be.

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