This weekend, hundreds of classmates, friends and members of the local LGBT community attended a candlelight vigil for Leelah Alcorn, a transgender teen who tragically committed suicide last week. In a Tumblr post, Alcorn wrote,

After 10 years of confusion I finally understood who I was. I immediately told my mom, and she reacted extremely negatively, telling me that it was a phase, that I would never truly be a girl, that God doesn’t make mistakes, that I am wrong. If you are reading this, parents, please don’t tell this to your kids. Even if you are Christian or are against transgender people don’t ever say that to someone, especially your kid. That won’t do anything but make them hate them self. That’s exactly what it did to me.

The blog post was signed “Josh,” which was crossed out and replaced with Leelah. In an interview with CNN, Alcorn’s mother explained that Leelah had approached her and her husband about being transgender: “We don’t support that, religiously. But we told him that we loved him unconditionally. We loved him no matter what. I loved my son. People need to know that I loved him. He was a good kid, a good boy.” Leelah’s parents sent her to Christian counselors and a psychiatrist who prescribed medication for depression. In the Tumblr post, Leelah wrote, “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 [sic throughout]” …