TDoR 2017 / 2017 / May / 31 / Leo Etherington

Leo Etherington

Age 15

31 May 2017
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire (United Kingdom)

Leo Etherington
Leo Etherington [photo:]

Leo died by suicide. His school had refused to use his new name even though he had transitioned the year before.

Leo Etherington had come out at home and at school – but teachers at Wycombe high school, an all-girls grammar school, told the 15-year-old that he could not change his name on the register for another year.

Giving evidence at an inquest into his son’s death, Martin Etherington said: “The school told him he had to be 16 to change his name. He said he was angry with the school.

“I asked him if I should speak to them and he said no. I said we could wait until he was 16 and then change his name.”

The student had also been told by the family GP that he would not be eligible for gender reassignment surgery on the NHS. In his evidence his father said: “I told Leo I would fund any surgery when the time came.”

The family thought Leo was studying for forthcoming GCSE exams in his room on the afternoon of his death on 31 May. But his father found his body in his room after he missed calls to come down to dinner.

Mr Etherington added: “The school told him he had to be 16 to change his name. He said

The tragedy is that both the school and his GP were incorrect - there was no reason the school could not have respected his identity, and the NHS can fund testosterone therapy for trans men from age 16 onwards, and surgery from 18.

Leo's death was not included on the official TGEU TDoR 2017 list.

Report added: 6 Oct 2018. Last updated: 18 Oct 2018

Trigger warning

This site contains reports of violence against transgender people, and links to detailed reports which contain graphic imagery.

Please continue with caution.


Get me out of here!