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JamForLeelah the game

JamForLeelah: A Trans Positive Game Jam starting today.

A Trans Positive Game Jam is going to begin today in honour of Leelah Alcorn, a trans girl who committed suicide late last year.

For those who aren’t aware, Leelah Alcorn was a trans girl in the U.S who died after posting a suicide letter onto her tumblr account. In her letter she details the mental anguish she felt at the hands of her parents, who sent her to conversion therapy while refusing to give her permission to receive gender reassignment surgery. “On my 16th birthday, when I didn’t receive consent from my parents to start transitioning, I cried myself to sleep.” she writes before ending the letter urging others to “Fix society. Please.”

The creators of the appropriately named #JamForLeelah describe it as “a month long trans positive game jam to raise awareness on LGBTIQ issues, specifically trans youth issues and Leelah’s Law as well as an attempt to raise money for trans specific charities”. They then go on to explain that Leelah herself was a gamer, that she “expressed an intense interest in not only gaming, but game development as well. She made this clear on both her Tumblr and Reddit accounts, so an indie game jam felt like a possible way to raise awareness for Leelah’s plea for social change, in a method she may not have only approved of, but also taken part in.”

The submissions have a few apt requirements. They require that games “Be primarily centered around trans issues, or other issues related to gender identity. This can be anything from having a trans protagonist to a game about growing up trans or navigating gender identity issues.” It also urges anyone who wants to get involved to “Use inspiration from Leelah’s art/music/ideas to primarily create a game” and to “Be inspired by Leelah’s interests as expressed on her Tumblr.” This is a smart way of keeping Leelah’s memory alive while still addressing the causes of her death. It’s smart, tasteful, and heck, it might even result in a few fun games along the way.

Submissions for Jam for Leelah are due on the 18th of February, and the Jam itself starts today on the 18th of January. Submissions can be uploaded to the JamForLeelah website itself here.

About Anthony Sarian