Sudden death of South Korea’s first trans soldier sparks military to step forward to inclusion

South Korea’s first known trans soldier, Byun Hee-soo, 23, was found dead at her home on March 3. She was the first in South Korea to have had gender reassignment surgery while in the military. South Korea’s Minister of National Defense Suh Wook said research on military service by transgender individuals is necessary, a milestone in the LGBTQ rights movement in one of the least inclusive countries in East Asia where even the incumbent president, a former human rights lawyer, openly opposed homosexuality in 2017.

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