South Korea’s first trans soldier found dead

South Korea – Image: lonelyplanet.com

(Reuters) – South Korea’s first transgender soldier, who was discharged from the military last year for undergoing gender reassignment surgery, was found dead in her home on Wednesday, Yonhap news agency reported.

Byun Hui-su, 23, who was a staff sergeant, before being discharged after she underwent the operation in Thailand while on leave, was found by emergency officials at her home in the city of Cheongju, south of Seoul, Yonhap said, citing police.

There was no immediate word on the cause of her death. A spokesman for Cheongju police could not be immediately reached for further comment.

A local counselling centre, at which Byun was registered, reported to emergency officials that she could not be contacted since February 28, Yonhap reported.

Byun, who had expressed hope of continuing to serve in the military’s female corps, had been pursuing a lawsuit contesting her dismissal, with a hearing expected in April, according to a spokeswoman for military advocacy group, Center for Military Human Rights Korea, that had worked with her.

– Joyce Lee

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