The Military Rights Centre declared that the Cheongju District Court has decided to correct the legal form and name former sergeant Byun Hui Soo as a woman. According to the February 10 notification, Hui Soo has become South Korea's first transgender to be officially recognized as a woman, by the law.
Hui Soo also known as Sergeant Byun was serving as a tank driver in a military unit in north Gyeonggi Province. Last year he returned to his duty after having a sex-change surgery in Thailand. Byun wanted to be recognized as a female soldier, but in the global meeting held by the Army, it was decided to discharge Byun from the service.
Byun was discharged from service
After getting discharged Byun started to work with the Military Rights Centre to fight the case and after the correction now her name will appear in the category of woman. Post her getting involuntarily discharged on charges of violating regulations on sex change, Byun had stated that she will sue the Army.
The 22-year-old Byun had undergone gender change surgery as she was suffering from gender dysphoria (distress from the internal conflict between physical gender and gender identity ) and mental health issues. After discharge, she accused the army of having deep-rooted intolerance towards sexual minorities.
Byun hopes to be a role model for the LGBT community
As reported by BBC, Byun had said "I will continue to fight until the day I can remain to serve in the army. I'll challenge the decision until the end, to the Supreme Court." BBC also reported that Byun was asked to undergo gender change surgery by the doctors considering the mental issues she was facing.
Though initially, Byun did not want to undergo the surgery she took the difficult decision and said that after the surgery she felt much better. She also hoped to be a role model for the LGBT community serving the armed forces. Even her superiors were said to have visited her in the hospital and discussed re-deploying her after the treatment.
However, after the screening, she was involuntarily discharged. The ruling from the military stated, "This case constitutes a reason for being unable to continue service." Speaking to AFP a defence ministry spokesperson had told that the gender change surgery was classified as loss of male genitals as a mental or physical handicap.