Perth trans teenager given two funerals after parents argue over gender

transgender teenager boy perth funeral deadnaming family court
Photo: Carolyn Booth/Pixabay

A 15-year-old transgender boy who died by suicide has been mourned at two separate funerals after his parents argued over his gender identity in court and split his ashes.

The 15-year-old boy from Perth, who can’t be identified, died in hospital on March 4, days after attempting to take his life, the West Australian reported.

After his death, his mother and father went to the Family Court after they failed to agree on his funeral arrangements, including which name to put on their son’s headstone.

The boy’s grieving mum said she was prepared to fight for her son’s chosen name all the way to the Supreme Court.

She told the West Australian her transgender son “would hate” to be deadnamed on his memorial.

“[His father] wanted all the ashes [interred together] and [his son’s birth name] on the plaque,” she said.

“I would agree to have [the birth name] in brackets but his [chosen name] first.”

His mother said her son fought for his gender identity. He had earlier worried about which name he would have to use to enrol at a new high school.

Transgender boy’s parents agree to use both names

Eventually, the parents did agree to split their son’s ashes and put both names on any memorial plaques.

However the 15-year-old’s birth name will appear on his death certificate.

Before his death, he was unable to legally change it on his birth certificate.

Under Western Australian law, children can’t change their name without both parents’ consent. If only one parent consents, the matter must go to the Family Court.

Family and friends of the teenager are remembering him as “a good and caring friend who always listened” as well as an “amazing artist who was great at drawing, painting and make-up,” the West Australian reported.

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  1. Russell Pollard
    20 April 2021

    Of course both parents mean well but the father is imposing one last cruelty upon the memory of his son . . . who was in fact his courageous daughter. In time to come what he has done will dawn on him. He will come to understand that his intransigence and tunnel vision runs close to the great and pointless difficulties that our trans brothers, sisters, children and parents are forced to endure by an uncompromising and bitterly bigoted world.

    I don’t know why their daughter chose to try suicide but when the world insists that there is no room for your personal truth about your own gender it is sometimes just so hard to see your way through. Those who insist you are too young to know who and what you are, those who insisted that she remain a boy, are morally culpable for this young trans person’s death. To think the father would see her ashes split just to make some arcane point, is like being bullied even when you’ve left the room.

    What a sad story of one young trans person’s heroism lost on a venal man, a man who should be hugely proud but is, instead, caught in his own grief and selfishness. I can feel sorry for all the family, the father included, but a dad would surely indulge his child’s dying wishes.

    • Yolande Stiffel
      21 April 2021

      Parents are given children to love and support; they don’t own them. Their role is to listen, believe and do everything they can to be there for their children not to decide for them. This poor boy enduring a tug of war even in death. May his soul be at peace but his father’s may never be for treating his child in such a selfish manner.

    • Eli
      27 April 2021

      The child seems to have been a trans boy, not a trans girl, so the kid was actually his father’s son. He’s identified here as ‘A 15-year-old transgender boy’.

      But yes, the rest of your comment is spot on, Richard.

    • russell pollard is a mong
      2 May 2021

      there’s no such thing as “personal truth” ******

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