On October 9, Jennifer Gable reportedly died of a sudden death at the youthful age of 32. According to the Miami Herald, Gable who lived as a transgender woman, suffered an aneurysm at Wells Fargo where she worked as a customer service coordinator. Although her death was quite shocking for co-workers and friends, things took a devastating turn when people arrived at her funeral to pay their respects. Surprisingly, the person in the casket wasn’t exactly who they all remembered.
Gable’s hair was reportedly cut much shorter and she was dressed in a suit as a man during the open casket ceremony. According to Logo TV, Gable’s father made the decision to present her as a man. Although the funeral home directors were well aware Gable lived as a woman, the directive was left in the hands of her father. Needless to say, her friends and co-workers were outraged. Many took to Facebook to express their disapproval of the family’s decision and disrespect for her lifestyle.
“I am disgusted,” a friend of Gable’s wrote on Facebook. “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 of the Human Rights Campaign recently shared her displeasure of the father’s decision to disregard Gable’s true identity. Stabler also recounted her online relationship with Gable while she was transforming her identity.
“No mention of the woman she knew she was and had lived as for several years. Just erosion of her identity and an old photograph of how the father perceived her to be. I only knew her online. She reached out to me a couple of years ago when she was in transition. The usual: ‘What do I need to worry about at work? Am I going to be OK? Is life going to be better? Can you assure me everything is going to be OK?’ Stabler said of their conversations.
“She had done what she needed to do legally to be seen as her authentic self. Her father erased her identity either though ignorance or arrogance.”
However, that’s not all. Gable’s obituary made absolutely no mention of her transgender life. According to the Magic Valley Funeral Home, “Jennifer” was born Geoffrey Charles Gable. Throughout the obituary, Gable was simply referred to as “Geoff.”
Here’s an excerpt from the online obituary.
“Geoffrey Charles Gable, 32, Boise, passed away suddenly on October 9, 2014 while at his job at Wells Fargo Bank. He was born in Twin Falls on January 27, 1982 to Anthony Clark Gable and Lori Ann Walton. Geoff and his brother, Steven, were raised from toddlers by their maternal grandparents, George and Joan Walton.”
However, almost everyone who signed the guestbook referred to Gable as “Jennifer.” Mike Park of Magic Valley Funeral Home released a brief statement in reference to the disheartening ordeal.
“The death certificate says Geoffrey AKA Jennifer Gable. The last few years she lived as Jennifer. They buried him as Geoff. A tormented situation for all those involved.”
Do you think it was disrespectful for the father to present Gable as a man? Share your thoughts.
[Image via Facebook, Jennifer Gable]