A transgender teenager killed himself in his bedroom after coming out to his “supportive” family and friends, an inquest heard today.
Leo Etherington, born Louise, was found hanged in the room by his horrified dad, Martin Etherington, after he failed to come downstairs for dinner.
The hearing was told that the 15-year-old committed suicide on an afternoon in May when his family believed he was revising for upcoming exams.
It heard that he left a suicide note and had previously expressed anger at his school for not letting him change his name until he turned 16.
Mr Etherington, a lone parent after his wife died of breast cancer in 2013, said he was not initially worried when Leo didn’t come down for the meal.
In a statement, read out in front of Assistant Coroner Alison McCormick, the father said:
“I heard him start playing his ukulele in his room.
“It then went quiet and I thought he was studying for his exams.”
He said that when he rang a bell that the family used to call everyone to dinner, he was not concerned when Leo did not come downstairs.
“I rang the bell and Robert [Leo’s brother] came down, but I didn’t hear Leo. I thought he might have been listening to something on his headphones,” he said.
“His bedroom door was locked, which was again not unusual.
“I thought that perhaps he had fallen asleep. I used a coin to unlock the door and I saw that he was not at his desk.”
Mr Etherington then described how he found his son suspended in the room. Emergency services were called to the house in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire.
However, Mr Etherington recalled how, despite desperately continuing to give his son CPR, he knew that it was too late.
“I could see from the colour of his face and the coldness of his skin that he was dead,” said the heartbroken dad.
The teenager had started using the name Leo after revealing to his father that he felt he had been born in the wrong body.
He left a suicide note, which was found by Detective Constable Andrew Hall.
Mr Etherington said that his son had been angry at his school for not letting him change his name. But he said he had a “supportive network” of loved ones.
“The school had told him he had to be 16 to change his name,” said the dad.
“He said that he was angry with the school. I said we could wait until he was 16 and legally change his name then.”
Mr Etherington described how he had always been accepting of Leo first coming out as gay and then saying he was transgender.
He said he had heard a programme about transexuality on the radio.
“I talked to (at the time) Louise about this on the way home from school so she would know I was open to talking about it,” he recalled.
“When we got home, Louise went to the window and started playing her cello. Then she stopped and said: ‘I think I am trans.”
Source: Mirror UKGet more stories like this on Twitter & Facebook