Trans* Writer And Advocate Stephen Ira Speaks Out Against Conversion Therapy In The Wake Of Leelah Alcorn's Death

'Give this young woman the peace in death that she deserves and work for what she wanted, work for the things she needed while she lived.'

In the wake of transgender teen Leelah Alcorn's death, a host of support and attention on the issues that the transgender community face has emerged.

The latest to speak out on behalf of trans* rights and the pressures of dangerous practices like conversion therapy is Stephen Ira, the son of Annette Bening and Warren Beatty.

Ira was assigned a female gender at birth but began his transition at the age of 14. Now 23, he's a writer and an advocate for the trans* community. Stephen addressed the issue by using the #RealLiveTransAdult hashtag and sharing his own experience with conversion therapy—which are counseling and therapy services that seek to change sexual orientation in LGBT children.

The practice has been banned in New Jersey and California, and is widely criticized by most professional psychiatric and counseling experts and the Human Rights Campaign.

Alcorn mentioned conversion therapy in her heartbreaking Tumblr suicide note, and her parents insisted on referring to Leelah by her birth name and born gender, as her mother's Facebook post indicates:


According to People, Stephen's parents have never publicly spoken about their son's transition, and he credits his friends for support in a video for WeHappyTrans that he posted back in 2012.

But Ira isn't the only one speaking out on Leelah's behalf: transgender woman like actress Laverne Cox, author Janet Mock and model Andreja Pejic all shared their support on Twitter:

Additionally, Ray Toro, former guitarist for My Chemical Romance, wrote a song a while back that he never released because the time didn't feel right. After hearing Leelah's story, he was moved to share "For The Lost And The Brave."

"I wrote this song about a year ago, waiting to release it on my record when it was complete," Toro wrote on his website. "There have been many times that I’ve almost put it out, but have always found a reason to hold it back. But lately there seems to be so much hate and misunderstanding in this world."

Listen to the song below:

If you are transgender and thinking about suicide, or know someone who is, please contact the Trans Lifeline at (877) 565-8860.

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