Trans Teen Dies Of Suicide After School Refuses To Change His Name
A trans teen died of an apparent suicide, shortly after coming out to his family.
15-year-old Leo Etherington was discovered hanging in his room by his father, Martin.
In a statement to the coroner, Martin said:
"I heard him start playing his ukulele in his room.
"It then went quiet and I thought he was studying for his exams."
"I rang the bell and [brother] Robert came down, but I didn’t hear Leo. I thought he might have been listening to something on his headphones.
"His bedroom door was locked, which was again not unusual. I thought that perhaps he had fallen asleep. I used a coin to unlock the door and I saw that he was not at his desk."
Shortly thereafter, Martin discovered his dead son's body.
"I could see from the color of his face and the coldness of his skin that he was dead."
Martin had been raising young Leo as a single parent, since his wife died of breast cancer in 2013.
Although Martin was supportive of his child, who first came out as gay, before later coming out as trans, Leo was dealt a blow when his school refused to recognize his name change.
Until his death, Leo attended Wycombe High School, a grammar school in High Wycombe, in South East England.
The Telegraph has more:
The grammar school, which caters for girls from ages 11 to 18, refused to let Leo change his name until he was 16, the coroner was told.
However, friends referred to him as Leo and sometimes as Alex, a name which he had chosen before but decided was too gender ambiguous.
"The school had told him he had to be 16 to change his name," Leo's father Martin Etherington told the inquest. "He said that he was angry with the school. I said we could wait until he was 16 and legally change his name then."
Sadly, when emergency services reached the Etherington's home, Leo could not be saved.
Our thoughts go out to his friends and family.
H/T: Gay Star News