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UK trans teen commits suicide in his own bedroom after coming out to family

UK trans teen commits suicide in his own bedroom after coming out to family

Trans teen killed himself after coming out to loving family

A trans teen hanged himself in his own bedroom after coming out to family, an inquest heard.

Leo Etherington took his own life one afternoon when his family believed he was revising for upcoming exams.

He was just 15.

Single parent Martin Etherington, whose wife died of breast cancer in 2013, said in a statement he was initially worried when Leo did not come downstairs for dinner.

‘I heard him start playing his ukulele in his room. It then went quiet and I thought he was studying for his exams,’ he told the inquest.

Trans teen did not come downstairs for dinner

He said when he rang a bell the family used to call everyone to dinner, he was not concerned when Leo did not come downstairs.

‘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.’

At that moment, he saw Leo underneath his raised bed.

The father immediately called emergency services to the house in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.

Giving CPR, but knowing it was too late

He recalled how, despite giving CPR, he knew it was too late.

‘I could see from the color of his face and the coldness of his skin that he was dead,’ Etherington said.

The 15-year-old, from High Wycombe, Bucks., had left a suicide note which was found by Detective Constable Andrew Hall. However his father said that despite anger at the school not letting him change his name, Leo had a supportive network of friends and family.

School refused to allow trans teen to change his name

‘The school had told him he had to be 16 to change his name. He said that he was angry with the school. I said we could wait until he was 16 and legally change his name then,’ he said.

The father added he had always been accepting of Leo first coming out as gay and then saying he was trans.

Etherington then used his son’s name given at birth. This was also done by the coroner. GSN has redacted the name given at birth.

‘I told Leo I would fund any surgery when the time came.’

‘I talked to [Leo] about this on the way home from school so she would know I was open to talking about it,’ he said.

‘When we got home, [Leo] went to the window and started playing her cello. Then she stopped and said: “I think I am trans”.’

Etherington said while it took Leo’s brother some time to come to terms with Leo’s gender identity no relatives had issues with it. He said he and Leo had attended gender identity sessions with CAMHS and Leo’s GP, Dr Bacon, had said the NHS would not fund gender re-assignment surgery.

‘I told Leo I would fund any surgery when the time came,’ said Etherington.

Coroner rules death to be suicide

The coroner ruled the death to be due to suicide.

In her summing up at the inquest in Beaconsfield, Assistant Coroner Alison McCormick said: ‘I will record a conclusion that [Leo] Etherington died after (taking her own life) in her bedroom at her home address.

‘You provided her with all he help and support she could have hoped for. I hope you can draw some comfort from that.’