Letter of Recommendation

   Trans And Nonbinary Obituaries

Trans and Nonbinary Obituaries

For those not part of the LGBT community, etiquette around trans and nonbinary identities can add another layer of questions around the already fraught process of writing an obituary. However, there are a few rules that can help ensure that the obituary is respectful and inclusive.

1) The most important thing to remember is also the central rule of writing an obituary: Do what the deceased would want first. No matter what, think of the person and their requests or desires. Ignore tradition when it's harmful.

2) Never deadname a person who was transgender. A deadname is the name the person was born with, and if they adopted a new name to better fit their identity, that is the only name you should use. Do not slip the deadname in, e.g. "Roger James Smith, born Nancy Karen Smith, was born..."

3) If discussing the deceased's identity or transition in the obituary was important to the deceased, accepted terms are "trans" (e.g. "trans woman") or "transgender," NOT "transgendered."

4) Always, ALWAYS use the deceased's preferred pronouns. She, he, ey, per, ve, xe, zie, they--there are many pronouns that people choose from, and they should always be respected. Even if the use of the singular "they" seems grammatically incorrect to you, use it anyway.

Index of obituary templates