- Last month, 32-year-old Jennifer Gable died suddenly as the result of a brain aneurysm while working at a Wells Fargo bank in Idaho.
Those who knew Gable were shocked and saddened by the young woman's untimely death — but it was what they later saw at her open-casket funeral service that left them absolutely stunned.
Gable, a transgender woman born as "Geoffrey," had been living as a woman for years before her death according to the Miami Herald.
She had legally changed her first name to "Jennifer" in 2007 to reflect this, and that's the name she was known by among peers and colleagues.
One can imagine how surprised her friends were, then, when they arrived to Gable's funeral and saw what appeared to be a man in the casket.
"They tried to make her look like a boy,” said Stacy Hudson, a friend of Gable's, to the New York Daily News.
- Indeed, Gable's long brown hair had been cut short and her makeup removed for the open-casket funeral. Instead of a dress, she wore a striped suit.
Furthermore, all of the photos shown during the funeral service were taken of Gable before she had transitioned into a woman.
"They never mentioned once 'Jennifer'," said Naomi Sweatfield, a friend who knew Gable while growing up, to the Idaho Statesman. "They never spoke of any of that."
Gable's obituary also bore the name "Geoffrey Charles Gable" and included no mention of her chosen identity or the fact that she was transgender — and despite the fact that she had legally changed her name years ago, her death certificate still read "Geoffrey AKA Jennifer Gable.".
- Several of Gable's friends have spoken out to media outlets and on Facebook about how her death was handled, blaming Cable's family for failing to honor their friend's dignity.
“What her parents have done is just a horrible thing,” said Brandan Klosterman to the Daily News, noting that "[Gable] would not have wanted to relive the horrible life of Geoffrey."
"There was a lot of bigotry from her family and I don’t even think they talked to her anymore," he said.
Meghan Stabler, a board member of the Human Rights Campaign's National Business Council, had counseled Gable online while she was in transition.
“She had done what she needed to do legally to be seen as her authentic self," she said to the Miami Herald. "Her father erased her identity either though ignorance or arrogance."
A man from Gable's home town who says his wife was friends with the deceased has set up a GoFundMe.com page in Gable's honour to raise funds for "a bench at the Human Rights Park in Boise, with her name etched on it, so that no one ever forgets."
"Jen chose her true self. That takes an amount of strength that most of us can never comprehend," reads the about section of the crowdfunding campaign. "When Jen died, she suffered the ultimate indignity. We hope to correct that."