Tragic trans teen given two funerals after parents fought over his gender

Maggie Baska
·2-min read

A 15-year-old who tragically died by suicide has been given two separate funerals after his parents argued over his gender in court.

The Perth schoolboy – who cannot be named for legal reasons – died on 4 March in hospital, days after attempting to take his life, Perth Now reported. After his death, the teen’s estranged parents went to the Family Court of Western Australia after they failed to agree on his funeral arrangements, including which name to put on their son’s headstone.

The boy’s father reportedly wanted his son’s deadname – the name assigned to the teen before he came out as trans – on his headstone. But his mother said she wanted to use the name her son chose when he came out as transgender.

The boy’s mother told the West Australian that her son “would hate” to be deadnamed at his memorial. She said: “[His father] wanted all the ashes [interred together] and [his son’s birth name] on the plaque.

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

Eventually, the parents agreed to split their son’s ashes and put both names on any memorial plaques. However, the 15-year-old’s deadname will appear on his death certificate because, before his death, he was unable to legally change it on his birth certificate.

Western Australian laws do not allow minors under the age of 18 to change their name without both parents’ consent. If one parent consents and the other doesn’t, the matter is remanded to the Family Court.

Perth Now reported that the teen’s mother held her service for her son by the Swan River, and “hundreds of people” turned up to pay their respects. Family and friends of the teenager remembered him as a “good and caring friend who always listened” and an “amazing artist who was great at drawing, painting and makeup”, the West Australian reported.