UNION TOWNSHIP, OH (FOX19) - Editor's note: FOX19 NOW typically does not report on suicides. However, this particular incident has unique circumstances that brought to light an issue that has spawned worldwide discussion.
The mother of a Warren County teenager whose suicide sparked an international transgender discussion told CNN this week the family loved Joshua Alcorn unconditionally.
"We don't support that, religiously," Carla Alcorn told CNN Wednesday, "But we told him that we loved him unconditionally. We loved him no matter what. I loved my son. People need to know that I loved him. He was a good kid, a good boy."
The 17-year-old died on Interstate 71 Sunday after being struck by a truck in the southbound lanes near the South Lebanon exit. Alcorn was pronounced dead at the scene.
Final results will be released once toxicology results are back, but the Warren County Coroner's Office considers it a likely suicide.
The teen, who identifies as Leelah, walked three or four miles from home onto the highway after reportedly posting an online suicide note blaming her parents for not accepting her choice and details living as a transgender person.
"I feel like a girl trapped in a boy's body, and I've felt that way ever since I was 4," the post reads.
Leelah's death has sparked an emotional worldwide debate across social media. The hashtag #RealLifeTransAdult began trending on Facebook and Twitter as transgender adults shared their experience with teens, telling them not to give up and that things will get better.
"If you're a trans teen and think there's no future, I came out at 36 and I never thought my life could be this great #RealLiveTransAdult" one tweet read from @HLeeHurley.
In her interview with CNN, Carla Alcorn referred to her child as a son and said he was depressed and given medication by counselors and a psychiatrist.
She said there has not been a service for Alcorn because people have threatened to protest. She also told CNN her child came to her only once to say he was a transgender and she never heard the name Leelah until she read the suicide note.
"He never said that name before," she told CNN.