I recently sat down and had coffee with a funeral director. Our discussion was specifically, who has the legal rights to present the final arrangements for someone Transgender after they pass on. Obviously, after you pass on, you really don’t have a voice in your wishes being carried out. I proposed a few scenarios to the discussion.
- There is a Transsexual woman who passed on and she is pre-op and lived full time in her gender. Her family didn’t “accept” (I don’t like the word accept because it implies judgment.) the changes the woman made for self congruency. Does the funeral director follow the family’s decision to present the woman as a man?
- The Transsexual woman had her gender marker changed to F on her birth certificate and she was still pre-op. Does the funeral director follow the anatomy or the documentation?
- The Transsexual woman was post-op but she never changed her birth certificate to align with her physical self. Does the funeral director follow the documentation or the anatomy?
- The Transsexual woman was still married to her estranged spouse who still retains all the legal rights to dictate final arrangements. Does the funeral director have to follow the wishes of the estranged spouse?
- The Transsexual woman was divorced but had biological children from the marriage. Do they make the final arrangements even though the deceased made her wishes known before her demise?
- The Transsexual woman had no immediate family and didn’t make final arrangements. Does the funeral director make the final arrangements based on the birth certificate or the death certificate?
Obviously, the scenarios can go on and on. They can also be adapted across the LGBTIQ spectrum. Do you think we should legislate to effect change when it comes to your wishes for final arrangements?