County moves to keep transgender teen from returning to parents' home
CINCINNATI (WKRC) - It's a story that many have heard before, but this time it's playing out in a local courtroom.
A teenager wants to transition, but the parents are opposed.
Job and Family Services is seeking temporary custody of the teen or legal custody to someone else so the child does not have to go back home.
The county agency argues the teen is not safe at home, where parents deny the child is transgender.
According to the complaint, the child wants to transition and has been seeing a therapist, but parents only want a Christian therapy. Neither side wanted coverage.
"We believe this is a private matter confidential how we're trying to figure out how they knew to be here in the first place," said Karen Brinkman, the parent's attorney.
That would be the public record complaint filed by job and family services, alleging the child feels afraid at home.
It says the teen reported being forced to sit in a room and listen to bible scriptures for more than six hours at a time.
The documents say professionals at Children's Hospital believe the teen is at risk of suicide if put back in the home.
Parents stopped the therapy at Children’s saying they were seeking a Christian therapist.
The parents filed the complaint in federal court against Job and Family Services alleging the teen was held at Children’s Hospital for four weeks without their consent.
The child's therapist said the teen is not strong enough to be the poster child for transitioning teens.
Lela Alcorn sort of became that after the teen who wanted to live as a girl killed herself by walking onto I-71 in front of a tractor-trailer. She left a suicide note.
"Please don't be sad. It's for the better. The life I would've lived isn't worth living in because I’m transgender,” said Alcorn in the letter. "My mom started taking me to a therapist but would only take me to Christian therapists.”
Lela said her mother told her she was going through a phase and that God doesn't make mistakes. Then Lela said, “if you read this, parents please don't tell this to your kids. It won't do anything but make them hate themselves. That's what it did to me.”
Lela's story is part of the reason Local 12 feels that the current case is important to cover, without identifying the teen who wants to transition, to protect the child from the taunting that often accompanies intolerance.
According to the complaint by Job and Family services, the case stemmed from a call the teen made to a crisis chat service.