South Korea's first transgender soldier sergeant Byun Hui Su is dead, reported Yonhap News. The 22-year-old transgender soldier's body was found in a decomposed state by the fire department on March 3 at 5.49 p.m. KST. Police have said that they did not find any death note and the reason for her death is not ascertained yet.
Sangdang Gu National Mental Health Center informed the fire department after they could not get in touch with Byun Hui Su. The Centre representatives were trying to contact her from February 28 but in vain. When she did not respond to their phone calls even on March 3, they suspected that she could have taken the extreme step and informed the fire department.
Foul Smell, Decomposed Body
When the fire department staff, along with police, reached her home, a foul smell was emanating from her house. They told Yonhap that it had been some time since she had passed away as the body was found in a state of decomposition.
A neighbor also spoke to Yonhap and said that Byun Hui Su had suicidal thoughts even three months ago. The police were sent to her house to ensure her safety and she was stopped from taking her life.
Byun Hui Su had joined the military unit in north Gyeonggi Province as the tank driver in March 2017. In November 2019, utilizing the annual leave, he underwent sex-change surgery in Thailand. He returned to duty and asked the establishment to recognize him as a female soldier in records. A meeting was held and the army officers decided to discharge her from military service in January 2020. The army had claimed that due to change of sex, she had mental and physical disabilities and was not fit to perform her duties.
Byun Hui Su' Legal Fight
But Byun Hui Su took the matter to the court and decided to fight till the army accepts her back in service. Accordingly, she had filed a complaint with the Army headquarters in February 2020. In August 2020, she filed a lawsuit against the Army.
However, the February 10, 2020 circulation of the Military Rights Centre took note of the issue and declared that the Cheongju District Court had decided to correct the legal form and name former sergeant Byun Hui Soo as a woman. Thus she legally became the first transgender of South Korea to be officially recognized as a female soldier. Her request to reinstate her was denied by the military in July 2020.