Young Writers Society

Home » Literary works » Poetry » Realistic

16+ Mature Content

Her Name Was Leelah

by AtlasW


Warning: This work has been rated 16+ for mature content.

Her tears shone in the blue light of the computer screen

A smile crossed her face, filled to the brim with solace and relief from all that had previously haunted her.

--

From the day she was born,

a flood of azure led paint clouded the visions of everyone around her.

From the day she was born,

they called her by a name that was anything but hers.

--

Joshua.

--

Even when she knew that she was different.

Even when she got the courage to tell the ones who were supposed to love her,

they still called her

Joshua.

They still used the pronouns

He. Him. His.

--

She told them they were wrong.

She begged them to let her live.

But they were relentless:

--

He Him Him, He Him His,

HeHimHis

Joshua.

--

A cold December morning.

A broken body in front of a tractor.

A broken mind who could suffer no more.

--

A sign on the door of an empty chapel:

"Thursday night's visitation and Friday's funeral service have been postponed."

Her parents still refusing to let their daughter flourish,

banning her best friend from attending the funeral

Where the tombstone would read

"Joshua."

A/N: Three years ago on this day, Leelah Alcorn, a young transgender woman from Kings Mills, Ohio committed suicide by means of stepping in front of a tractor trailer. Her death made national news. Leelah's suicide note, which can still be found online, asks us to "fix society, please...My death has to mean something..." I know that this poem cannot do her passing, nor any other LGBT+ youth's, justice. But if I can help one person through my writing, then I am happy. I dedicate this poem to Leelah, as well as every other LGBT+ youth who have struggled with thoughts of suicide/ suicidal actions. I am here with you.

Love,

Shane


Note: You are not logged in, but you can still leave a comment or review. Before it shows up, a moderator will need to approve your comment (this is only a safeguard against spambots). Leave your email if you would like to be notified when your message is approved.







Is this a review?


  

Comments



User avatar
841 Reviews


Points: 664
Reviews: 841

Donate
Mon Jan 01, 2018 5:58 pm
Radrook wrote a review...



A very sad poem and of course it is design to invoke both sadness and outrage. There is indeed sadness that someone should feel so misunderstood as to be forced to identify with a gender he or she doesn't feel appropriate. Such a dissonance between how a person looks and hope the person fees in reference to gender is a condition that a person is born with. Many mistaken it for a voluntary choice and become enraged and inflict the person with persecution which leads to such outcomes. It is really a pity tat our educational system doesn't inform its citizens about such a condition in order to reduce these tragic scenarios.

I like the way you used the blue paint to indirectly lead into the main body. Blue being the color that parents automatically choose for boys as opposed to pink for girls. For that they can't be blamed since physiologically such persons are very often indistinguishable physically from the regular people who have no such inner conflicts. However, if they wee informed about the nature of the condition kept at it anyway, then that's where the culpability applies.

Even then we mus understand that it isn't easy for parents to shift into such a mental mod. It requires that they bury the image of the child they thought they had and adjust to one who seems abnormal. So it isn't necessarily with malice that they try to pressure the child into compliance. They know that very often drastic surgery is needed for such individuals to feel OK. That requires considerable surgical modification such as breast amputation ion the female ad castration in the make and a life of taking hormones. So an effort to help their child avoid this might also be involved.




User avatar
364 Reviews


Points: 15980
Reviews: 364

Donate
Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:04 pm
zaminami wrote a review...



Hello GodHatesMason! Kara here for a (hopefully) quick review!

Give me your soul.

With that aside, I'm not the best at poetry but here we go!

Bold = grammar and flow issues.
Italics = suggestions and overall
Strikethrough = remove
Underline = krazy Kara komments.

To start, I am going to rewrite parts of the poem for you. You have quite a few flow issues and I need to fix them because OCD reasons.

Spoiler! :
{Her tears shone in the blue light of the computer screen{.}
A smile crossed her face,
Filled to the brim with solace and relief from all
That had previously haunted her.}


--

From the day {that} she was born,
a flood of azure le{a}d paint clouded the visions of everyone around her.
From the day {that} she was born,
they called her by a name that was anything but hers.

--

Joshua. {I would cross out this line to show that she doesn't want to accept it}

--

Even when she knew that she was different{,}
Even when she got the courage to tell the ones who were supposed to love her,
They still called her{:}
{"}Joshua.{"} {I would cross this line out too. Heck, just cross out all of the Joshua lines}
They still used {wrong} pronouns{:}
He. Him. His.

--

She told them {that} they were wrong.
She begged them to let her live.
But they were relentless:
{He {h}im {h}i{s}{.} He {h}im {h}is,
He{h}im{h}is{.}
Joshua.}


--

{On} cold December morning{,}
A broken body {appeared} in front of a tractor{:}
A broken mind who could suffer no more.

--

A sign on the door of an empty chapel:
"Thursday night's visitation and Friday's funeral service have been postponed."
Her parents still refusing to let their daughter flourish,
banning her best friend from attending the funeral{,}
Where the tombstone would read{:}
"Joshua."


My interpretation:



Well, you already explained this in the A/N, so I don't need to tell you what you already know.

Overall:



I did truly like this, but you can definitely work on your grammar and flow issues. This definitely struck me through the heart. I am LGBT+ and suicidal so having a poem that stands up for these people is really impactful for me. <3

Why haven’t you given me your soul yet? --

Kara

Image


This review courtesy of
Image




User avatar
17 Reviews


Points: 131
Reviews: 17

Donate
Sat Dec 30, 2017 10:37 am
wordwing wrote a review...



Heyy! Wordwing here!

I must say, I really like the first two lines. I could imagine exactly how the light shone and the tears reflecting the light. Amazing imagery! I also really like the repetition, it suits the feeling of the whole poem. One thing I noticed though, is that you didn't end the first line with a period. Other than that, I don't think I have noticed anything wrong. The poem is amazing, good imagery, good flow, everything is juuust right.

Keep writing amazing poems!

Wordwing




User avatar
59 Reviews


Points: 1373
Reviews: 59

Donate
Sat Dec 30, 2017 4:03 am
SirenCymbaline says...



I really can't see any way this could have been changed to work better for me, so I'll just try to break down why it worked.

Man that ending was just perfect. The setup that led to it was just right, and it paid off much better than if you'd just used that ending without the buildup of pronouns and 'Joshua.'
With the title of 'her name was Leelah', the theme comes full circle.

There's a million different details you could have used, and I think you picked just the most important ones and focused on them. Overall, simple and effective.

You painted a clear picture, I was really feeling it.


Bye




User avatar
15 Reviews


Points: 510
Reviews: 15

Donate
Fri Dec 29, 2017 2:07 am
null25 wrote a review...



I, for one, am glad you included the author's note. I remember when this happened! It really hit home, and I am both excited and sobered by the reminder of her suicide, as I am remembering the feelings stirred by the event and am dejected that it happened and that I no longer think of it daily. The very presence of this poem is so wholly necessary, and I thank you for that. The poem is also fairly simple, yet meaningful, which I appreciate very much. It tells her story in a way where it is obvious what happened, yet still makes the audience think. I also love the pronoun emphasis and repetition, as it really demonstrates to the reader what Leelah had to deal with all of her life. This poem tells a story that should never be forgotten, and is recreated all to often in society. I think you should do a quick grammar/spelling check (for example, you used "fiend" when I think you meant "friend"), but overall I enjoy the poem, especially its little details, such as the "flood of azure." That line truly was amazing, and reading it really got me into the tone and theme of the poem. Thank you for this piece! I enjoyed it! Keep up the good work spreading awareness!




AtlasW says...


Thank you so much! I'm glad you enjoyed it. And thank you for suggesting a spelling/ grammar check. I'll fix that typo you mentioned right away!



User avatar
26 Reviews


Points: 2580
Reviews: 26

Donate
Thu Dec 28, 2017 10:50 pm
AtlasW says...



I just wanted to note that I included the author's note because Leelah's passing was such a long while ago, and I needed to say all of that. Please don't suggest that I remove it, etc. I will not do so. Thanks <3





You're given the form, but you have to write the sonnet yourself. What you say is completely up to you.
— Madeleine L'Engle, A Wrinkle in Time