The first transgender soldier in South Korea, who underwent a gender reassignment surgery to become a woman has been expelled out of the army.
Naija News understands that Sgt. Byun Hui-su, had the operation last year in Thailand last year, when she went on leave.
She had been hopeful that she could continue serving in the female corps before a military panel voted to throw her out today.
in a statement released by the army, it reiterated its efforts to protect soldiers’ human rights and prevent discrimination, but noted that the surgery left Byun in a state that would make it difficult for her to continue serving.
Speaking at a press conference at the Center for Military Human Right Korea on Wednesday, Sgt. Byun Hui-su said: “I will continue to fight until the day I can remain to serve in the army,” she said. “I’ll challenge the decision until the end, to the Supreme Court.”
while speaking with reporter, Hui-su who was crying said she wanted to live her truth after years of distress and bouts of depression.
It was an extremely difficult decision to let my base know of my identity, but once I did, I felt much better,” she told reporters at a news conference in Seoul after the military announced its decision.
“I thought I would finish serving in the army and then go through the transition surgery and then reenter the army as a female soldier. But my depression got too severe.”
Reacting to the news of Sgt. Byun Hui-su being thrown out of the army, the Seoul-based Military Human Rights Centre accused the military of treating LGBT+ troops “as if they are criminals”.
“The staff sergeant is a young soldier who has the loyalty and service spirits for the country and the people that are second to none, and loves the military more than anyone,” the group’s head, Lim Tae-hoon, told a news conference in Seoul.
“We strongly urge the military should turn over a new leaf by deciding to let the officer continue service.”