Saturday, 3 January 2015

Leelah Alcorn: Don't get distracted, these are the real killers...

Now that Ditum's attempt to shut down debate about Leelah Alcorn has clearly failed, there are rumours that lawyer for Payday Loan company, Cathy Brennan is now acting as lawyer for Leelah's parents, which probably explains why her blog has disappeared. Stand by for attempts to clear Reddit and to prevent any publication of her words; copyright law means that Leelah's parents now own the copyright to everything she wrote; expect vigourous efforts to be made to remove material to continue from all social media platforms.

However we must not let ourselves get distracted. The TERFs, and even Leelah's parents are not the real killers. The reason Leelah died was because of "Christian" conversion therapy, something widely practiced in the US Bible Belt. I would doubt that Leelah was the only trans child to be a victim of this murderous practice, she just happened to be a particularly articulate one who knew how to use social media well.

Her dying wish, all trace of which which I suspect at least one TERF is trying very hard to erase from the internet, was that her death would mean something. The way to make it mean something is to get conversion therapy banned in the US and elsewhere. As I have said before, the TERFs are getting involved because they have an interest in this, since their entire ideology is underpinned by their own claim to be able to "cure" trans people using "feminist" conversion therapy. They will defend the right-wing evangelical churches to the hilt, despite these organisations being profoundly anti-feminist as well as transphobic. We must remember that the Southern Baptist Convention has specifically endorsed this form of hate-crime against trans people whilst opposing the right of trans people to bodily autonomy, in effect a declaration of war on trans people.

It is clear that the religious right in the US has failed in its aim of oppressing lesbian, gay and bisexual people, although it is continuing its efforts to export their homphobic hatred to places like Uganda. It has quite clearly decided that trans children are an easier target and will be doing all they can to whip up hatred against this group. Like the TERFs however, they need to be able to demonstrate that they have a 'solution' to the 'problem' of trans people. Again like the TERFs they may be clutching at straws with conversion therapy but as long as they do so trans children will die.


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