GSA Holds Clothing Drive to Support Trans Youth

The+donation+bins+for+the+GSAs+clothing+drive+for+The+Leelah+Project+are+located+inside+room+2067.+--Mercy+Fosah

The donation bins for the GSAs clothing drive for The Leelah Project are located inside room 2067. --Mercy Fosah

The donation bins for the GSAs clothing drive for The Leelah Project are located inside room 2067. --Mercy Fosah
The donation bins for the GSAs clothing drive for The Leelah Project are located inside room 2067. –Mercy Fosah

Leelah Alcorn, a 17-year-old transgender girl, committed suicide on Dec. 29, 2014 due to her parents, who were unsupportive of her gender identity. In her suicide letter, Alcorn said, “I want 100% of the things that I legally own to be sold and the money (plus my money in the bank) to be given to trans civil rights movements and support groupsa��” However, her parents refused her last wish, when they buried her as Joshua Alcorn.

As a response, the Leelah Project was created to aid transgender and genderqueer people who cannot get access to the clothing, makeup or accessories needed for them to express themselves comfortably. The Leelah Project collects supplies and make care packages for those who need them.

“I think it’s really important to bring awareness” Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) sponsor Dana Sato said. “Sometimes people might say something that’s derogatory without knowing it’s derogatory, such as ‘that’s so gay,’ but a little awareness goes a long way.”

In partnership, the GSA is collecting donations through Feb. 6. To donate, there is a box inside Sato’s classroom (2067).

Senior and GSA President, Emily Shpiece said, “There are trans kinds in the school and they often talk about their friends giving them clothes and shopping for new things so they understand the drive. The fact that there are kids that can’t afford it really strikes a chord with them.” Shpiece organized the clothing drive as part of her NHS senior project.

If you are trans or genderqueer and need help from the Leelah Project, or if you simply want to donate items or money to the project, more information is available at theleelahproject.com.

“Regardless of any sort of identifier, such as age, gender or race, I don’t believe that anyone should have to feel that kind of agony,” Sato said. “I hope that others out there know that there are places to reach out and hope is not lost a�� it really does get better.”