An Idaho family was roundly criticized for erasing their trans daughter’s identity in her obituary and at her funeral following her sudden death last month, the Miami Herald reported.
Friends of Jennifer Gable said her family dressed her in a man’s suit with a short haircut for her casket viewing at a Twin Falls funeral home. Gable, who died from an aneurysm at the age of 32, had legally changed her name to Jennifer in 2007 and identified herself as a woman.
The obituary posted at the funeral home’s website also lists her as “Geoffrey” and continues referring to Gable by a male pronoun. The funeral home’s director, Mike Parke, said Gable’s death certificate listed her as a man.
“I am disgusted,” one of her friends, Stacy Dee Hudson, said. “A great and dear friend’s mom went to the funeral today. It was not closed casket. They cut her hair, suit on. How can they bury her as geoff when she legally changed her name. So very sad. Jen you will be missed and people who know you know that you are at peace.”
Meghan Stabler, a member of the Human Rights Campaign’s national business council, told the Herald that the family’s choices obscured the work Gable did to be recognized under the law in her chosen identity.
“Her father erased her identity either though ignorance or arrogance,” Stabler said. “But who knows what the parent was going through?”
The Daily Mail reported that friends also criticized Gable’s family in an online guest book.
“She was mutilated and disrespected by her family, and even her obituary is a desperate attempt to make her seem as masculine as possible,” one friend, Lisa Becker, wrote. “To her family — shame on you.”
Stabler said the actions of Gable’s family highlight the importance of keeping a will with provisions built in place to prevent this kind of erasure.
“No mention of the woman she knew she was and had lived as for several years,” she told the Herald. “Just erosion of her identity and an old photograph of how the father perceived her to be.”
Watch a video on Gable’s funeral, as posted online by the Huffington Post, below.
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