Grieving Stevenage mum says lack of understanding for transgender daughter contributed to her death
PUBLISHED: 15:04 20 August 2015 | UPDATED: 15:04 20 August 2015
The mother of a transgender woman whose life was tragically cut short has bravely spoken out about the lack of support her daughter received from official agencies – which she feels contributed to her early death.
Synestra De Courcy – who was just 23 when she died – was born a boy, but at the time of her death was hoping to undergo full gender reassignment.
An inquest into her death at a London house party has been opened and adjourned until December.
Mum Amanda De Courcy, of Woodfield Road in Stevenage, told the Comet: “She grew into a intelligent child, gifted in most academic subjects, and was a high achiever at her school, St Christopher in Letchworth, where she was known as Alex and became head boy.
“During most of her time in London – where she studied cosmetic science at the University of the Arts, which she loved – she lived with various friends. She loved to party and had great fun, but she was also a quiet soul.
“It took effort to get to know Synestra, but to those who knew her she was a true, deep and loyal friend.
“She prostituted herself to afford hormones on the internet because her GP would not prescribe them.
“There was a lack of understanding which was ultimately a death sentence to her.”
Eventually Synestra was successful in her bid to get NHS help.
“Unfortunately I received the referral appointment letter just days after she died. It would have been so uplifting to her,” said Amanda.
“Having watched my child go through the emotional upheavals, the discrimination, the attacks, the rapes, the robberies, the drug taking for solace, I want to make a difference.
“Every person should have a fundamental human right to be themselves.
“If they are born in the wrong body it is a disability that needs to be understood and treated.
“Her accidental death is a tragedy for us as a family – but there are so many people out there who are in a similar position as my daughter.
“This is why we are setting up a charity called Synestra’s Trust.
“The University of the Arts is supporting it, as is her old school in Letchworth.
“She had so many friends Letchworth, Stevenage, Hitchin and London.
“Her transgender journey was fraught with problems, a lack of understanding within society and minimal help available within the NHS.
“During her short but meaningful life Synestra reached out to more than 18,000 followers through Facebook and YouTube by being honest about her personal journey – and her strength and guidance inspired masses within her community.
“Nothing in her mind was impossible if you had the strength to try.”
Many tributes have been posted on social media site Facebook paying tribute to Synestra.
Robert Houston wrote: “You were a massive inspiration to many and a lovely soul.”
Michael James said: “The brightest star I have ever met, I’ve never known anyone so intelligent or graceful – we shared many intense and amazing experiences together and laughed so hard we cried every time we met. I am utterly devastated. Goodbye beautiful girl, rest in peace, I will never forget you and will miss you forever.”
Following Synestra’s death on July 26, a funeral service will be held at Harwood Park Crematorium in Stevenage from 12.30pm tomorrow. Family flowers only, donations via Austins at www.austins.co.uk.