New book tells Stevenage transgender woman’s tragic story

Synestra de Courcy

Synestra de Courcy - Credit: Archant

A book centred on the life and death of a transgender woman is being launched next week at David’s Bookshop in Letchworth.

Transition Denied is available to buy on Amazon. Picture: Jessica Kingsley Publishers

Transition Denied is available to buy on Amazon. Picture: Jessica Kingsley Publishers - Credit: Archant

Synestra De Courcy from Stevenage died in 2015, aged just 23, after a problematic transgender journey and “rejection from the NHS” – which is thought to be a contributing factor to her tragic death.

Synestra was born a boy, but at the time of her death was hoping to undergo a full gender reassignment.

She attended St Christopher School in Letchworth before studying cosmetic science at the University of the Arts in London.

Mum Amanda De Courcy told the Comet after Synestra’s death that, in order to afford hormones, she prostituted herself because her GP would not prescribe them. Tragically, Synestra’s efforts to get NHS help were acknowledged just days after her death.

Author Jane Fae.

Author Jane Fae. - Credit: Archant

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Letchworth writer and campaigner Jane Fae says she was left shocked and angered by Synestra’s story, and teamed up with Amanda to give an honest and open account of Synestra’s story in ‘Transition Denied’, while exposing the prejudices faced by transgender people today.

Amanda told the Comet: “Jane has totally captured the essence of Syn within these pages.

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“As I read them, I can see her saying these very things.

“She was indeed a bad girl, clever girl, beautiful girl. All of this is evident in this very raw, very accurate depiction.

“The book is a clever blend of the biographical mixed with hard hitting facts about what it’s like to be trans in the UK in the 21st century.

“It reveals the good, the bad, and the ugly within our society, within the NHS itself and it challenges one’s thinking about discrimination of an ever-growing group of people who are just that, people.”

Jane will be speaking about her reasons for writing Transition Denied, and the wider implications for trans healthcare at a local launch of the book at David’s Bookshop from 7.30pm on Monday.

She and Amanda will be joined by Anna Carlile – a social justice and institutional prejudice researcher at Goldsmiths University – who has recently published her own book ‘How to Transform Your School into an LGBT+ Friendly Place’.

Transition Denied will be available to buy at the Eastcheap bookshop, and can also be purchased online as an e-book or a paperback on

Since Synestra’s death, Amanda has set up Synestra’s Community Interest Company to “ensure that no other young person with gender dysphoria meets the same untimely death”.

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