Leelah Alcorn killed herself on Sunday. Her family wouldn’t accept her for her she was. Her suicide note, left on Tumblr, is sad, tragic, pointed, and making a lot of people emotional and judgmental.
I sent to my own two kids this article and told them I wanted to talk about this article after they’d read it. And, separately, I talked with each of them, telling them two things.
1. As parents, we have unconditional love for them. Our job is to help guide them in their journey to become awesome adults and responsible citizens, but is just that – to guide them. We’d love them whether they were gay or straight, male or female, green, blue, purple, winged, horned, walked on two legs or four.
2. Our house is open for their friends and even their schoolmates who may be having a hard time at home, for a couple of hours, an evening, a few days, a few weeks. If they have friends or know other kids who are having a hard time at home, our home is open to them, because of how we feel about kids like Leelah and how we feel about our own two kids.
It would be easy, to see events like Leelah’s suicide and find reason to not want to bring kids into this world. But I am the opposite; I would rather charge head-on into this world, to see how I can change it. I want it better, I want to affect change. And I see that we’re doing that, every time we have these conversations with our kids, every time these situations present themselves. Because parenting is only hard work if you do it.