1. I wish she hadn’t given up…she was so close to adulthood and new possibilities that she had no idea were just around the corner.
    1. One of the first things I thought about was the truck driver who she jumped in front of. That person’s life was also changed forever that day, and I am heartbroken for what they must be experiencing.
    1. She was apparently on Prozac, a strong anti depressant that is known for sometimes increasing suicidal thoughts and actions, especially in teens. Sometimes medications can be a lifesaver, but I urge parents and doctors to exhaust all other options before putting youth on such strong medications with such disturbing side effects. Whenever I have a kid in my office on Prozac or other anti-depressants, I see it as my duty to have a very serious talk with their parents about keeping a close eye on their kid and talking with the prescribing physician about any concerning signals.
    1. Her parents have just lost a child in the worst way imaginable; demonizing them when they are struggling with such an incredible tragedy isn’t fair. It just isn’t. An important lesson can certainly be learned by other parents about things they might want to do differently with their gender-variant kids, and I bet there are many parents who are thinking long and hard about their children’s lives because of this tragedy. That is the most important thing right now, for other parents to see this as a lesson and do things differently. Leelah’s parents cannot reverse time and do things differently; all any of us can do is learn from this and move forward, evolving as we go. I admit that it is disheartening to hear them continue to misgender their kid, but to expect them to do a complete 180 in a matter of days is just not realistic. They might still come around and learn what it is to be transgender and, with time, they might humble themselves in the face of this and become educated advocates. We don’t know where they will end up as a result of this suffering. Let them get wherever they go in peace as they heal. They deserve that, as any parent who loses a child would.
  1. And finally, in regards to the title of this post, I am angry with my profession right now. It is UNACCEPTABLE for this to go without consequence in this field. I hope the counselor(s) that Leelah reportedly saw get investigated, and if proven at fault here, lose their license. As healthcare providers, our very first rule, is to “first do no harm”, meaning that it may be better not to do something, or even to do nothing, than to risk causing more harm than good. You should not be able to label yourself a “Christian counselor” and, with that as your shield, stand on a pedestal in front of your clients telling them to simply pray more or become a more Godly person. Therapy should never be talking at your client, lecturing them about becoming a better person. Therapy should be a helpful conversation, with the person sitting in front of you as your guide, and only therapists who are educated about the issue at hand should do it. ANY counselor who was properly educated about what it is to be transgender would have spoken with Leelah’s parents in an attempt to educate them and would have helped Leelah to find ways to be her best self in the face of the incredible adversity she was dealing with. The counselors who see trans individuals and kids need to have their feet held to the fire to ensure that they are not doing those clients more harm than good. Our profession needs to do something about holding all of us more accountable to these clients.

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