Leelah Alcorn, 17-year-old transgender girl, commits suicide, leaves behind heartbreaking note

There's a difference between empathy and pandering.

Empathy is putting oneself in another person's shoes. The only behavior it is supposed to evoke is treating the people you empathize with the way you would like to be treated if you were in their shoes.

The problem is, you're different from them. Putting yourself in their shoes only goes so far. You would be just as well off saying "Just stop being a dick to them," because that's all it really means. If I put myself into a gay guy's shoes, I'm not going to be attracted to men. I'm not going to want to put gay literature into the classroom. Because I'm not gay. I can put myself into their shoes as much as I like; they're still unique. They are going to want different things than I do, and that's fine. I can still treat them with respect without wanting to put gay literature in the classroom.

Pandering is when people give people something to "bribe" them into feeling better about their unique perspective so that they don't have to deal with their bitching and trouble-making. For example; I'm not gay so I don't want gay literature in the classroom. But because I know it will hurt gay people's feelings if gay literature is not in the classroom, and that they'll bitch and throw a hissyfit if they don't get it (which will cause me trouble), I will weigh my options:

Is pandering to gays and giving them gay literature in the classroom less trouble than dealing with the backlash of their hissyfit? Is that all they want, or will they throw more hissyfits if I give them gay literature in the classroom?

If I believe it will be less trouble to give them what they want, I will pander to them and give them what they want. I will go out of my way to give them gay literature in the classroom (which I don't want because I don't enjoy it because I'm not gay and would have to go out of my way to get it). I would pander to them.

If I think it is a hassle, I won't do it (not because I hate them; because I'm not gay and don't know how it feels to be gay, and don't want gay things). I especially won't do it if I think they will want more things after I pander to them once. Compromise is a great thing, but unless the other party gives something in return, it puts you into a terrible bargaining position. And gays in this case would have no reason to give something up, and they wouldn't have anything to give up anyway.

I am not gay bashing at all. This is people's thought process with everything. For example:

Your kids have a lot of toys but see a new toy they really want, and start begging and crying over it (I am not saying gays act this way, I am saying that children act this way; figured I'd point that out). The child is bargaining; "I will shut up and you'll have an easier life if you give me this toy. And I will be happier." If parents choose to pander to their children, and buy them the toy, they do it because it is easier to get them the toy than it is to deal with the consequences of not getting the toy.

Maybe the parent would feel good buying the kid the toy, and because that good feeling is much better than the annoyance of crying kids, or the bad feeling of punishing their kid for not shutting up, they decide to buy their kid the toy. But if they know their kids will just cry for every single toy they see, then the parents will most likely be like "Stop crying. I'm going to count to three. One......motherfuckin TWOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!.....IF I GET TO THREE YOU'RE FUCKING DEAD!!! YOU HEAR ME?! DEAD!........TWO AND A HALFFFF!!!! Damn fucking straight you caved in, you little shit!!! CUZ YOU KNEW!!!!"

Now, no one wanted this girl to die or be sad.

But what did she do, really?

"My death needs to mean something."

Why? That is the most cowardly, selfish exit in existence, but she's trying to force her work onto other people because it "needs" to mean something. If it needed to mean something, she would have lived through it and helped other kids that were just like her. She could have helped a lot of kids, but didn't. Like, she says other people "need" to make her death matter. People like that disgust me for one reason: Everyone has thought about suicide at some point; every single person alive. You reading this right now, haven't you thought about it at least once in your life? Why doesn't anyone talk about that? And what did you do? Did you kill yourself and leave a note saying "My death NEEDS to mean that everyone has friends and gets a prom date senior year..." No! You didn't. Why? Because you're not an asshole. And you're better off for choosing to live. You could help people who have the same problems you had, and I bet you do help them!

I think empathy is great; but if anyone failed that child, it is all the other trans people that committed suicide or didn't help her. That's pretty damn selfish, in my opinion. Society is full of people that have their own problems, and wanted to commit suicide at some point, and figure out ways to help other people. I've personally helped people overcome suicidal thoughts. I even helped one person, only to later fail them because I didn't live close enough to them to physically be there for them, which they needed. And if people like this weren't so damn selfish, maybe they could have made the difference in some other kid's life.

Open your damn eyes you transgender bastards. You have one of the highest suicide rates of all people; stop being so hissy and selfish and put yourself out there, put yourself into other transgendered people's shoes, and save not only kids but other adults. Your "shame" is killing yourself and the people most like you, and this crap needs to stop.

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