Nearly 290,000 people have signed a petition that would ban transgender conversion therapy in the United States.
The petition comes after the suicide of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn. Alcorn, who was born Joshua, committed suicide on Dec. 28. She was 17.
She wrote in her final Tumblr message that, “My death needs to mean something. My death needs to be counted in the number of transgender people who commit suicide this year. Fix society. Please.”
The Change.org petition was launched by the Transgender Human Rights Institute.
Alcorn’s mother allegedly told her that “God doesn’t make mistakes.” Her family also took her out of school and then had her visit a therapist.
"My mom started taking me to a therapist, but would only take me to Christian therapists, (who were all very biased) so I never actually got the therapy I needed to cure me of my depression. I only got more Christians telling me that I was selfish and wrong and that I should look to God for help."
The petition says that conversion therapy caused Alcorn’s death.
"Conversion therapies' have been documented to cause great harms and in this case, Leelah's death,” the petition said.
In 2011, 41 percent of transgender Americans have tried to commit suicide, according to the National Transgender Discrimination Survey.
Publication date: January 7, 2015