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South Korea’s First Transgender Soldier, Byun-Hee Confirmed Dead At Age 23

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South Korea’s First Transgender Soldier, Byun-Hee Confirmed Dead At Age 23

Byun-Hee who was identified as the first transgender in South Korea which led to his sack in the South Korean military is reported dead.

Firefighters found 23-year-old Byun Hee-soo at her home in Cheongju, south of Seoul, after a mental health counselor called emergency services to report that she had not been heard from since Sunday. Yonhap news agency reported on Wednesday, March 3.

Police are investigating her death, she said.

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Reports said no note was found, but that the death was treated as a suicide, and Yonhap cited officials who said she had attempted suicide three months ago.

Byun, a former staff sergeant, voluntarily enlisted in 2017 and underwent gender confirmation surgery in 2019 in Thailand.

The Defense Ministry classified the removal of her male genitalia as a mental or physical disability, and a military panel ruled last year that she would be mandatorily discharged.

Byun’s death sparked a wave of grief and calls on South Korean MPs to pass a bill against discrimination.

“All Korean society is responsible for his death,” read a poster on Daum, the country’s second-largest website.

“Those who ridiculed her and made malicious comments online because she was transgender, I want you to reflect on what they did to her.”

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