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.
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:
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.