Donations will give a trans student whose remains went unclaimed his "final dignity."
A 22-year-old transgender student at City College of San Francisco took his own life on July 2nd. Two weeks later, Daine Grey's body had still not been claimed by his estranged parents. (Before his death, Grey had told friends they had disowned him).
When Grey’s friends and fellow members of CCSF’s LGBTQ community found out his body had not yet been claimed after 10 days, they decided to step in, creating a GoFundMe page to raise funds for a funeral.
What they received back in short order was an outpouring of love and kindness— raising more than $20,000 in less than 48 hours, surpassing their early goal of $17,000 and even attracting the attention and platform of Celebrity Chef Nigella Lawson.
According to PinkNews, Lawson donated $500 to the page herself and then tweeted it out to her followers to help:
Lady Katerina, the manager of the school's Queer Resource Center and a close friend of Daine's (self-described as "...[Daine’s] adopted mom” in an interview with Them.us), wrote on the GoFundMe page created to raise money for Grey’s funeral costs:
Our Queer Community lost one of their bright stars. We need help in providing Final Dignity Rites for Daine. As you know funeral expenses are expensive especially when someone had nothing. Please help share the love and give Daine his Dignity.
Many were understandably angry with the parents:
How could they turn their back on their child, in life and in death? Tragic. RiP Daine Grey— JustSue (@mudpuppy001) July 19, 2018
That was my point - leaving him unclaimed was unforgivable!— Terry Bort (@arecas35344) July 19, 2018
Sad loss of life. Shame on his parents for not claiming their child’s body. I hope Daine’s funeral is a fitting tribute to the person he was. ❤️🏳️🌈❤️🌈— Janice Bossmin (@JBossmin) July 19, 2018
Others took time to praise Grey's real family:
That's why we call ourselves "FAMILY ", because we all take care of each other!😥🌈— Jamie Riordan (@JamieRiordantx) July 19, 2018
Love knows only the good in a person no matter race, gender or circumstance.— Forever Sad (@ForeverSad10) July 19, 2018
So sad /: shame of his family.— Salar Rezaei (@SalarRezaei3) July 19, 2018
RIP 🌻🕊🕊🕊🙏🙏 Thank god for his friends for stepping up and honoring him.
This is so sad. God bless the ones who stepped up and helped. RIP Daine Grey.— Chris Behner (@ChrisBehner1) July 20, 2018
Only after NBC News contacted Grey’s parents, Stephanie and Peter Haught, "who are separated from each other and estranged," has one of the two parents gotten involved.
Stephanie Haught said she hadn’t talked to her son since he was 16 and only found out he was transgender through Facebook days before he died. She claimed Grey's father told her he would claim their son's body. Peter Haught declined to provide NBC News with an on-the-record comment.
Following a call from NBC News, Stephanie Haught contacted Lady Katerina, and the two are now working together to plan a funeral service for Grey at the Chapel of the Chimes in Oakland, California.