South Korean trans soldier was not allowed to keep serving but will keep fighting

POHANG, SOUTH KOREA - APRIL 02: South Korean marines participate in landing operation referred to as Foal Eagle joint military exercise with US troops Pohang seashore on April 2, 2017 in Pohang, South Korea. South Korea military troops held for joint annual military exercise with the U.S. drawing criticism from North Korea, arguing that these training exercises will worsen the standoff over North Korea's nuclear weapons program. (Photo by Chung Sung-Jun/Getty Images)

In what proved to be a test case for the country’s handling of LGBT+ rights, the staff sergeant in her 20s wished to continue serving in the army after she transitioned into female. South Korean laws don’t allow trans people to join military, but people who transitioned while serving are not mentioned in that law. The military said in a statement that Hui-su’s surgery is grounds for discharge, bringing an end to her service. The woman knew she would sue the army if there was such a decision, and as the ruling was not in her favor, she swore to keep fighting. “I’ll challenge the decision until the end, to the Supreme Court,” she said during the press conference without hiding tears of disappointment and adding that she considered transitioning after the serving, but her mental health got worse and worse and she could no longer help her country. Now she can and she wants to, but she is not allowed.


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