Trans man kills himself after botched surgery: Have we learned?

Trans man kills himself after botched surgery: Have we learned?

This tragic story from October 2013 was recently brought to our attention. Nearly a decade on, it’s still heartbreaking, and sadly, still entirely relevant today.

In 2013, Nathan Verhelst, 44, from Belgium, committed assisted suicide after a botched ‘sex-change’ operation that left him feeling like a “monster”.

In Belgium assisted suicide, or euthanasia, is legal on the grounds of “unbearable psychological suffering”.

It is understood to be the first time someone in Belgium has chosen euthanasia after a sex-change, and comes soon after it emerged that it is now the cause of nearly one in 50 deaths in the country.

Mr Verhelst died after a lethal injection administered by the same doctor who last year ended the lives of congenitally deaf twins who were also going blind.

Born female, Verhelst lived as Nancy until 2009, when she began hormone treatments to appear as male. She then had a double mastectomy followed by another operation in 2012 to attempt to construct a penis. The operation was a failure leaving a massive scar and indent in her arm where skin and flesh was taken for the surgery.

In the hours before his death he told Belgium's Het Laatse Nieuws: 'I was ready to celebrate my new birth. But when I looked in the mirror, I was disgusted with myself.           

'My new breasts did not match my expectations and my new penis had symptoms of rejection. I do not want to be... a monster.' 

His family learned of his decision this morning via a farewell letter.

Hearing the story, spokeswoman for Binary Kirralie Smith said it was a terrible tragedy.

“This is an example of another life devastated by trans ideology,” she said.

“No one can change their sex, it is written on every cell in their body.

“Costumes, drugs and surgery can only appropriate the appearance of the opposite sex. Today, the accounts of de-transitioners are rising sharply as they realise they will never change sex.

“The accounts of suicide are also rising. It is a terrible and avoidable tragedy that must be addressed.”