A 15-year-old trans teen in Perth who tragically passed away was given two funerals because his parents couldn’t agree to use his chosen name rather than his deadname, The West Australian reports.
The unnamed boy died in hospital on March 4, days after a suicide attempt. It was then that his estranged parents started fighting over which name to use.
“He [the father] wanted all the ashes [interred together] and [his son’s birth name] on the plaque,” the boy’s mum, who says she was always supportive of her son’s gender identity, told The West Australian.
“I would agree to have [the birth name] in brackets but his [chosen name] first.”
The boy’s legal name was the same name he had at birth. In Western Australia, trans people under the age of 18 need the permission of both of their parents before they can legally change their names.
Family and friends of the boy described him as an “amazing artist who was great at drawing, painting and makeup.”
In the end the parents agreed to split the ashes and have two separate funerals. Both names will be put on any permanent memorial such as a tombstone.
The outcome follows a legal battle at the Family Court of WA, however the mum said she was prepared to escalate the matter to the Supreme Court if she couldn’t fulfill her son’s wish to have his name respected.
Suicide is a serious issue affecting trans young people in addition to the various, intersecting forms of discrimination they already cop.
In Australia, over a third of trans adults have attempted suicide in their lifetime. This is almost eleven times higher than the general population.
Cases like this are a tragic reminder of the urgent need to support and uplift trans young people.
The boy’s mum said he “would hate” to have his deadname used at his funeral. By pushing to use his chosen name, she was able to properly honour him at at a service where hundreds of people, including strangers, turned up to celebrate her son’s life.
Help is available.
If you require immediate assistance, please call 000.
If you are in distress, please call Lifeline on 13 11 14 or chat online.
Under 25? You can reach Kids Helpline at 1800 55 1800 or chat online.
You can also reach the Suicide Call Back Service on 1300 659 467 or chat online.