South Korea’s first openly transgender soldier was found dead in her home on Wednesday, according to CNN, ABC News and NBC News.
Byun Hui-su, 23, was found dead in her home in Cheongju, located south of Seoul. Officials did not provide a cause of death. According to CNN, local officials reported that it appeared she had been dead for several days.
Byun served as a staff sergeant in the South Korean military until she was discharged from the military for sex reassignment surgery. She had since resumed her military service with South Korea’s female corps.
A friend of Byun’s told Reuters that Feb. 28 would have been her last day in the military if she had been allowed to stay in the service.
Byun had also filed a lawsuit against the military in the hopes of continuing her service. The first hearing for that lawsuit was set for April.
Byun’s decision to go public with her gender identity inspired others in South Korea to come out as LGBTQ+, according to the Rainbow Action Against Sexual-Minority Discrimination of Korea.