Wands Up

Back in January I wrote Georgia judge chastised by Appeals Court over transphobic rulings, about Georgia transmen Rowan Feldhaus and Norman Baumert winning the right to legally change their names in court.

Unfortunately, last Tuesday, Rowan Feldhaus died from complications from surgery. He had undergone surgery for a hysterectomy on Monday, but went into septic shock and lost oxygen to his brain.

After having been discriminated against by a judge who refused to allow him to change his name because he was transgender, Rowan wanted to make sure that no other transgender person was similarly insulted and objectified,” said Lambda Legal attorney Beth Littrell, who represented Feldhaus. “Because Rowan stood up, Georgia judges are now required to allow people to change their names without bias.

With the support of his family, Rowan will now save five lives through organ donation and touch immeasurable others as the families, friends and communities of those who receive Rowan’s organs will be forever impacted by the memories, milestones and contributions made possible by this second chance at life.

--Tracy Ide, LifeLink







Rowan was a Harry Potter fan and friends celebrated his life last evening with a wand ceremony at Augusta University, where he was a student.

Rightwing and Christian refused to accept Rowan's self-identification even in death, of course.

It was a way to ease the pain of his loss while remembering the person some have called a pioneer for Georgia's LGBTQ community.

More people who are struggling to find themselves will become more comfortable just by with his name change. That will be his legacy - helping others.

When he passed, I didn't accept it. I'm still struggling with it. I feel like it's really unfair.

--Kristina Masone, close friend

When a very significant character in the books passes away, all the wizards raise their wands in remembrance. And to me, the life of Rowan symbolizes that.

--Rachel Aran, close friend

Feldhaus had attended Augusta University for years and had served as the School Government Association's Vice President all year until his passing. A member announced their annual SGA Organizational Member of the Year award and a scholarship will be named in Feldhaus' honor starting next year.




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