Homepage Showcase

Actions

Leelah Alcorn honored on the fourth anniversary of her death

WCPO Leelah Alcorn Memorial Highway 4th Anniversary Group
Group Gathers to Remember Leelah Alcorn on the 4th anniversary of her death
Did Leelah Alcorn lead to national change?
Group remembers Leelah Alcorn and her wishes
Posted at 5:59 PM, Dec 28, 2018
and last updated 2018-12-28 21:38:39-05

LEBANON, Oh — Four years after Leelah Alcorn's death, several people gathered on the side of Interstate 71 near South Lebanon to honor her life.

"I'm out here as an example to my daughters," Leelah's Highway Project supporter Lisa Oravec said.

Alcorn was 17-years-old when she walked onto Interstate 71 four years ago, taking her own life. She was a transgender girl who reportedly struggled with her identity, and in a final message to the world, she pleaded for people to fix society and make the world a more accepting place.

"As a mom myself, the story really moved me," she said.

Since her death, the Cincinnati City Council has banned gay conversion therapy and the way schools treat transgender students has gained public attention.

"We probably all know somebody," Lisa Oravec said. "Might not be transgender, but they're going through an issue of identity. With teens especially it's a very hard time in their lives. We should care that we're supporting kids when they're going through a difficult time."

The group hung a wreath on Leelah Alcorn's highway sign as a way to keep her memory alive.

"We don't want Leelah to be forgotten," Oravec said. "We want people in CIncinnati, or anybody driving down 71 to see the wreath. See the highway. If they don't know who Leelah is they'll google it, educate it, and learn from what happened."

The Leelah Alcorn Memorial Highway group meets four times a year to clean up the highway near the South Lebanon exit.