American University student Jes Grobman and Rev. Wendy Moen of First Trinity Lutheran Church are among those expected to speak at the rally that is slated to take place in Mount Vernon Square near the Walter E. Washington Convention Center at 2 p.m. The advocates are then scheduled to march to the Justice Department where they will read a list of demands that include a federal ban on so-called conversion therapy to minors.
The events will take place less than a month after Leelah Alcorn, 17, took her own life on an interstate outside of Cincinnati.
The teenager wrote on her Tumblr page before she committed suicide that her mother took her to “very biased” Christian therapists after learning “what transgender meant” at 14.
Alcorn said she came out to her parents as gay because she thought it would prove “less of a shock” to them. She wrote in her suicide note that they instead withdrew her from school, took away her laptop and phone and refused to allow her to see her friends.
“Leelah called for us to fix society, which means improving it for not only people in her situation, but to address problems that other trans people face,” said organizers of the D.C. protest in a Facebook post.