By Alex Parker
April 26, 2021
A teen in Western Australia’s capital has been given two funerals.
The 15-year-old female — who identified as a boy — died tragically by suicide.
The child’s mother and father are estranged.
Given the terrible situation, they had to decide: Would she be laid to rest as female? Or would the identity of a boy be reflected by the burial?
Mom and dad couldn’t come to a consensus.
The mother insisted her child — born a girl — find a final resting place as a guy.
In fact, as reported by 7News, she vowed to employ the full power of the court system if necessary:
The boy’s mum said she was prepared to take the issue about his name all the way to the Supreme Court, adding her son “would hate” to have the wrong name on his memorial.
The unnamed mother said her son fought hard for his gender identity, even worrying about the name he’d used at his new school for his email login, but said his father “wanted all the ashes” buried together using his son’s deadname on the headstone.
“I would agree to have (the birth name) in brackets but his (chosen name) first,” she said.
Recognizing his son’s true gender identity in death was too much for the boy’s father and the plans were originally put on hold until they could be resolved in family court. https://t.co/t35psl8rMN
— Out Magazine (@outmagazine) April 24, 2021
The issue ended up in Family Court.
An agreement was reached: There would be two funerals, for two representations of the same person — substantiated by two separate containers of ashes.
As indicated by the outlet, the child’s name hadn’t been legally changed.
Per the law, only a birth name would appear on the death certificate.
The adolescent, it seems, was no stranger to turmoil:
The 15-year-old was diagnosed last year with borderline personality disorder, something his mother said she didn’t learn until the just before he died. She also revealed her son had recently run away from home and stopped taking his antidepressant medication. He had been referred to Perth’s outpatient Gender Diversity Service, but no further details were provided.
As relayed by the Daily Mail, the child will have two different headstones.
The Mail notes it had looked as if the child might survive the suicide attempt:
The day after he attempted to take his life, the young boy went to school but his health quickly deteriorated and he died at Sir Charles Gairdner Hospital a few days later.
He was described by friends as a well-loved, caring friend and talented artist with a dark sense of humour and colourful hair.
Nothing is more grievous than an early end to a troubled life.
As for a dispute over burial, name, and identity, it’s easy to imagine more of the same in coming years.
According to a Gallup poll in January, among Generation Z — adults 18-23 — 15.9% now identify as LGBT.
Some of that percentage, of course, is occupied by those identifying as something different than their sex.
America’s demographics are changing; more notably, so are its problems.
For one family in Perth, a teen may have been laid to rest; but the way in which it was done is a permanent testament to conflict.