Name UnknownAge 15
4 Mar 2021
Perth, Western Australia (Australia)
The victim was a young trans boy. After his parents couldn't agree on funeral arrangements he was given two funerals - one in his chosen name, and one in his deadname.
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.
Loved ones described the 15-year-old as “a good and caring friend who always listened” and an “amazing artist who was great at drawing, painting and make-up”.
When he was 14, the teen was diagnosed with borderline personality disorder but his mum didn’t find out until the day before he died.
His mum said she couldn’t be sure whether knowing about the disorder would have kept him alive but said she would have given him more support.
“He needed more supervision than what he was getting,” she said.
“Risk-taking is part of BPD... if I had just known about the diagnosis ... he was only 14.”
Before his death, the boy was referred to Perth’s Gender Diversity Service, an outpatient service for children experiencing gender diversity issues.
He had also run away from home and had stopped taking his antidepressant medication.