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Sookmyung Women's University accepts transgender student

A transgender student has been admitted to a women-only university for the first time in Korea. Sookmyung Women's University said Friday the 22-year-old student, who undertook a sex change operation last year, passed the entrance examination for its law department and will commence studies in March.

"There are no regulations banning transsexual students from entering the school," a university official said.

The university, however, needs to discuss details involving the student's school life such as dormitory living as the acceptance of the transgender student was an unprecedented event, the official noted.

The student underwent gender reassignment surgery in Thailand in August last year and became legally female in October after a court issued permission.

The student told local media, "I hope other transgender students who are hoping to enter women's universities can be encouraged by my case."

She said she applied for the law department after being inspired by the nation's first transgender lawyer Park Han-hee.

Park, who had worked for a construction company, quit the company and entered Seoul National University Law School in 2013 to become a lawyer. She has since been active locally in supporting the rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgendered people (LGBT).

The first transgender student of the women-only university is drawing keen attention amid controversy over the Army's recent decision to discharge the nation's first-ever transgender soldier.

On Jan. 22, the Army's special review committee discharged Byun Hee-soo, a sergeant who underwent a sex change operation in November, saying her new "physical disability" ― the loss of male genitalia from the operation ― disqualified her from military service.

The decision has sparked controversy over discrimination against LGBT people.

The student also expressed her regret over the issue, saying that the nation seems to still have a long way to go before becoming an egalitarian society.






source: The Korea Times
Tags: lgbt / rights, school
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