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Belgian trans man helped to die after failed gender reassignment operations

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  1. What a sad, sad story. I hope he has found peace.

  2. RIP Nathan. X

  3. Sinead Harkin 3 Oct 2013, 6:42pm

    How sad that it came to this RIP

  4. This is one of the saddest things I’ve ever read – it truly never occurred to me that gender reassignment can be unsuccessful, but I hope this man finds peace in his next life.

    1. Dean Richardson 3 Oct 2013, 8:00pm

      I’m afraid that unsuccessful (by various degrees) gender reassignment is something that’s all too common. Getting some surgeons to ‘fix’ problems that develop later on can be very difficult – whether done privately or through the NHS … at least according to what we’ve learned from other people’s stories.

      But this story is tragic :(

  5. The Bishop 3 Oct 2013, 7:07pm

    Surely there are better options than this? It is chilling.

    1. What do you mean by ‘. . .than this’

      1. Staircase2 4 Oct 2013, 2:52am

        …euthanasia (pretty obviously)

  6. This is so sad, most trans people finally find peace after gender reassignment but its easy to see how they still might not be satisfied with the results. What a tough process it must be! I’m so sad he couldn’t find what he was looking for. RIP

  7. Jerry Joe 3 Oct 2013, 7:57pm

    It should be mentioned what his ”mother”
    thought about him:

    Verhelst informed his family of his decision to die in a letter. ‘I had happy times, but the balance is on the wrong side,’ he said.

    He recalled how his mother had loved his brothers, but appeared to hate him because he was born in the body of a girl.

    ‘While my brothers were celebrated,’ he said, ‘I got a storage room above the garage as a bedroom.

    ‘My mother complained, “If only you had been a boy”.’

    Verhelst’s mother confirmed she had not wanted him.

    ‘When I saw [Nathan’s birth name] for the first time, my dream was shattered. She was so ugly. I had a phantom birth. Her death does not bother me,’ his mother told Het Laatste Nieuws newspaper.

    ‘I will definitely read the letter but it will be full of lies.

    ‘For me, this chapter is closed. Her death does not bother me. I feel no sorrow, no doubt or remorse. We never had a bond.’

    From Gaystarnews

    1. I am appalled. Six months of ‘counselling’ (what sort? with a proper psychotherapist or well-trained counsellor? or what?) would never be long enough for someone who’d suffered such a troubling childhood, even before we get to the difficulties he clearly suffered through his trans identity. To decide on euthanasia at this point is simply tragic. Three years of good psychotherapy might have really helped this man.

    2. Marko Hubert 4 Oct 2013, 2:45am

      It makes me think that not everyone must be parent. This mother is one example of motherhood failure.

  8. This is, as others have said, very sad.

    However, I’m glad he was in a place where his wish to end his life was dealt with appropriately and not have him suffer through years of court cases.

  9. I live in Belgium and I have to say a lot of the reporting in English that I’ve seen the last few days seems to be based on a, let us say, biased translation into English by the Daily Mail. The orginal Dutch article in De Laatste Nieuws does not say that Nathan’s operation(s) failed in the sense of going wrong, it says that it failed in the sense of not providing the peace he was seeking. The “series” of failed operations also suggests multiple similar surgeries while actually conflating different types of surgery. The Belgian articles also focus on the social questions euthanasia raises and some tabloid reporting about his mother’s attitude to him, they do not dwell as much on the fact Nathan was trans. All in all the Daily Mail has managed to create a scare story about transgender surgery out of a Belgian debate on euthanasia and now the whole English speaking world gets to have fun hand wringing about whether they are right to let trans people have access to medical aid when needed.

    1. Thank you for setting the record straight

    2. Darron 5 Jan, 1:58am

      The daily mail makes me sick that people read there detestable horrific articles and believe a single word disgusts me, That they even wrote one on this poor mans suffering I don’t even have words!

  10. So sad that Nathan’s transition didn’t work out and it all ended so tragically, at least he gave it his best shot before making his decision to end his physical life.

    1. Sad to hear of his death. Those who seek to condemn him must refrain from commenting. As unless you’re in that persons shoes you cannot hope to understand why he chose to die. For younger trans people, I do hope they won’t be influenced by this story. But I know as a child, positive role models of gay men were very rare. We all need happy endings in others lives to encourage us in our own lives.

  11. pliberato 4 Oct 2013, 2:26am

    i am very worried about these kind of things going on in Belgium and in the Netherlands. This kind of mentality of the doctors is destructive and against Human Rights and the Hypocrite Oath. It feels Nazi-like.

  12. Staircase2 4 Oct 2013, 2:57am

    Deeply, deeply troubling on many levels.

    If Ms M is right and this story is lifted from the Daily Mail and based on (therefore predictably) shoddy and bigoted journalism, why is it then being repeated as fact in Pink News…?

    Please address, Pink News…

    1. PantoHorse 4 Oct 2013, 10:06am

      Because, PN rarely reports news and rarely investigates stories in a proper journalistic sense. Their copywriters mainly rip stuff off other news sites, quite often jazzing up the headlines in order to generate more click throughs and hence raise their ad revenue.

  13. Poenaru Brindusa-Katalin 4 Oct 2013, 6:48am

    Heartbreaking. There are so many things to be fixed in this world, so many pains to ease…I’m so , so deeply sorry that Nathan didn’t have the chance to meet peace and happiness, somebody close enough to wipe out childhood rejection. I feel for him and I found that his mother is a horrible person. She murdered him slowly through bigotry and cold heartlessness. This should not happen to anybody! I am a human being and a mother myself and I found such behavior unacceptable. Despicable. I’m very, very sad.

  14. MaartenBE 4 Oct 2013, 6:52pm

    Here’s a link to a short, non-biased article on the website of the VRT (let’s call it the Belgian/Flemish BBC): http://www.deredactie.be/cm/vrtnieuws.english/News/131001_euthanasia

    First of all, euthanasia is not so uncommon here (I’m Flemish). I would go too far by saying it’s mainstream, but meanwhile a majority of people sees it as a decision that deserves respect. It is not up to others to judge people because they have decided that the pain they’re in is too much, whether it’s physical or mental pain. I therefore have a deep respect for his decision. I have and so far always had a very happy life, but I’m smart enough to know not everyone is in that position.

    Please also realise that the procedure to obtain euthanasia is difficult and lengthy. It’s not like you can say “I want to kill myself” and be medically supported by that a week later, like some English newspapers seem to suggest.

    Anyways, I hope he finds peace now and is in a happy place..

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