The funeral service for Leelah Alcorn, the 17-year-old trans teen who took her own life after being rejected by her conservative Christian parents, was on January 2.
But her best friend, Abby Jones, says she was denied entry by Leelah’s parents.
Carla and Don Alcorn reportedly barred Abby because she shared a photo of Leelah in a black-and-white dress—an image that went viral along with Leelah’s suicide note.
“Her mom called and blamed [Abby] for everything that got posted online, even though Leelah’s page was public,” Abby’s mother, Danielle Pieper-Jones, told the Daily Mail.
The funeral was originally scheduled to take place at Northeast Church of Christ in Cincinnati but when trans activists and others arrived, they discovered a note on the door stating the service had been moved to a private location.
The funeral director blamed undisclosed “threats” to the Alcorn family for the change of venue.
“My daughter just wanted to say goodbye to her best friend. They did not allow her to go to the funeral,” says Pieper-Jones, who also says Mrs. Alcorn “had no right to call and harass my daughter.”
Leelah and Abby met while working together at a Ohio amusement park and soon became fast friends. In a tumblr post shortly before her death, Leelah thanked Abby “for dealing with my pathetic problems, all I did was make your life harder and I’m sorry.”
Abby recalled how being taken to Christian therapists, who would attempt to “cure” her, contributed to Leelah’s depression. “She always said, ’Nothing is going to get better, I am never going to transition successfully.'”
Still, Abby was stunned by her friend’s suicide—when they spoke on Christmas Day, Leelah seemed upbeat: “She was talking about her New Year’s resolutions. It was a really light-hearted conversation.” Abby told the Washington Post. “On Sunday, when I heard what happened, I was just in shock.”
Jill Soloway dedicated Transparent’s Golden Globe win Sunday night to Leelah’s memory.