GSA Hosts ‘Moment of Solidarity’


Photo by Maeve McGuire

GSA members gather to recognize the suicide death of Leelah Alcorn.

Robyn Ehrlich, News Writer

Eagan High Schools’ Gay Straight Alliance (GSA) hosted a school-wide event during PAWS in hopes of showing their support for the recent suicide death of transgender teenager Leelah Alcorn.

The event was originally created by the Eagan GSA founder, junior Naomi Kolb-Untinen, and 24 people, including teacher Mrs. Corbett, came to what became known as “A Moment of Solidarity” in order to stick up for the passed Ohio teen.

Tenth grader Skylar Harcourt took on a leadership role during the discussion and explained the purpose behind the event, “I’m hoping to show support for people who identify as anything other than cis-gendered.”

Another attendee, senior Brian Rosas, spoke regarding what he hopes events such as this one will accomplish. “We need to spread the message across that trans kids have the freedom and right to live how they want to,” he said. “Let people really know about the issue.”

We need to spread the message across that trans kids have the freedom and right to live how they want to

— Brian Rosas

Leelah Alcorn, born by the name Joshua, was seventeen years old at the time of her suicide. In a suicide note that was posted to Tumblr a few hours after her death, Alcorn wrote of her experience being forced to take part in conversion therapy, a number of treatments
that aim to reform a persons’ sexual orientation from homosexual to heterosexual, or to convince a transgender person to only associate themselves with the gender they were born to.

She was involuntarily taken to these sessions by her extremely religious Christian
parents, who failed to accept her identification as a female.

Alcorns’ suicide has lead to widespread dispute regarding whether conversion therapy is justified, or just a thinly veiled form of child abuse. It has even called for speculation towards a federal law that could potentially protect other transgender adolescents that are forced to undergo similar circumstances.

The EHS students that attended the Moment of Solidarity have taken a clear stance against conversion therapy and for the identification of whichever gender and whichever sexual orientation by whoever pleases.