‘Lack of support drove my transgender son to suicide’
A MOTHER whose son died by suicide after a sex-change operation believes he’d be alive today if greater State support was available.
The parent, who does not wish to be identified, addressed students at the Royal College of Surgeons earlier this year to highlight what she described as ‘piecemeal, haphazard and deficient’ services for gender reassignment surgery patients. ‘The State failed my child,’ she told the Irish Mail on Sunday, in her first media interview since the 24-yearold’s death in 2013. ‘I absolutely believe he would still be alive if better supports had been in place before and after surgery. The State has dealt with transgender issues reactively rather than proactively.’
The woman explained her youngest child had a double mastectomy and a hysterectomy in Dublin but didn’t go on to have genital reconstruction surgery in the UK as ‘he was still adjusting to his new body’. Accessing his file after his death, she could only find three meetings with a psychiatrist, but none with a counsellor or a psychologist.
‘He hung his whole future on this procedure,’ she said. ‘After the operation, he was good for a while but became quieter. I don’t believe he suffered from post-op regret. But he focused on the operations making him fully okay. But it doesn’t stop at operations. You need a lot of counselling before and after.’