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“Let My Last Request Be Fulfilled”

Friends and attorneys of May Peleg, the transgender woman who committed suicide this week, are fighting in court to get May’s last wish for her.

maypeleg

The Jerusalem District Court today will hear an urgent request by friends and attorneys of May Peleg, the transwoman who committed suicide this week at the age of 31, after years of abuse and neglect. May’s representatives wish to order the state to transfer the body of the deceased to “Autumn Leaves,” a company engaged in alternative burial, to cremate it, as she asked in her will. Peleg already paid for the cremation prior to her suicide.

“Because I have no connection at all with my biological family and because I’m afraid that with my death there will be people who will try to sabotage this last request to be cremated. I want my ashes to be scattered at sea and the remainder buried under a tree,” she wrote in her last request to her lawyer. “I would like you to appear in court and be my voice.”

In her will May wrote that she was abused by her family and she does not want her body to be sent to her biological mother. “I would like to prevent the woman who gave birth to me from receiving my body or my ashes. During the years of my life she abused me mentally and verbally; at a young age I heard quite often sentences like ‘I’m sorry I gave birth to you’ “,she explained in the letter. She noted that the two had not been in contact for nine years, after she suffered oaths and curses in text messages from her biological mother, and above all else – her mother never recognized May’s gender change.

“It is quite likely that if my body is transferred to her she would bring it to religious burial, while Judaism does not recognize me as a woman, despite undergoing sex reassignment surgery,” wrote Peleg. “This to me means contempt of my dignity and deleting my identity.”

Peleg’s mother also responded urgently to the request. “I came from a religious observant Jewish family, and the burial arrangement of my son is important to me,” she said. “I request not to burn his body and not to give it to anyone who wishes to burn it, and to give son’s body to me for the purpose of burial as it is done in Israel legally.”

About her daughter’s will she said: “I heard the claim that there’s a will, but this will in any case must be struck down because my son was in a deep emotional crisis and could not command anything. For several years he’s been hospitalized in psychiatric hospitals.”

The court is expected to respond and rule between the parties.