Equality: Transgender Removed From List Of Mental Disorders By World Health Organization

Last week, the World Health Organization (WHO) made a historic change to its list of mental disorders by removing transgender from it. It’s the culmination of a move by the organization last year, when it decided to remove gender dysphoria from its classification of behavioral and mental disorders.

The WHO voted on the revision last May 25, making it so that transgender and gender non-conformity are no longer recognized as mental disorders.

The revision also comes a week after the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, which is intended to commemorate the declassification of homosexuality as a mental disorder by the WHO. It is intended to “draw the attention of policymakers, opinion leaders, social movements, the public and the media to the violence and discrimination experienced by LGBTI people internationally.”

As pointed out by the Human Rights Watch (HRW) to Gay Star News, the classification of transgender and gender non-conformity as a mental disorder has been used as the basis for discriminatory policies. Some of these policies include the government requiring a gender disorder diagnosis before allowing transgender people to change their names and gender markers on official documents. Some governments also ask transgender people to be sterilized before they are recognized before the law.

Graeme Reid, the LGBT rights director at the HRW, said that medical interventions should be separated from the process for legal recognition of gender identity.

“Transgender people are fighting stigma and discrimination that can be traced in part to medical systems that have historically diagnosed expressions of gender non-conformity as a mental pathology,” he said. “But it’s the stigma, discrimination, and bullying – and not anything inherent in gender nonconformity – that can inflict mental health problems in transgender people.”

Transgender readers of the Adam4Adam blog, how do you feel about this new declaration by the WHO? How helpful will it be in changing discriminatory policies where you live? Share your stories with us in the comments section below.

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  1. Libertarian Queer

    This is an example of how one group goes about changing things by NOT piling more laws on top of an already hardly navigable criminal code. Science. Fact. Intense study. Peer review. Altering perceptions. Time. Education. Eventual acceptance. Change.

    We’ve had laws against this and that for ages. When that didn’t seem to work even more laws were piled on top of those. Some of those laws are bad laws conceived by biased or ignorant legislators in the heat of a “We must do SOMETHING” frame of mind politicians are want to display. This is often the worst time to legislate because it often demonstrates a lack of understanding of the problem.

    Well crafted laws are the ones that are most acceptable to the populace at large. In the US, they tend to closely guard and preserve the rights of all concerned. (Not that all USA laws are like that, quite the contrary.) Bad laws are often partisan and ignore the rights of one side or the other thus we see the seemingly endless parade of attorneys marching through the court system. Not that there wouldn’t be a parade of attorneys if all laws were good law but there would be less.

    Sometimes popular perception is the problem. Remember the anti gay laws? Brave gay men and women and removing homosexuality as a mental disorder in the medical field (a field based on science, not politics) changed the popular perception over the years and now look where we’re at. This could not have happened without Constitutional freedoms citizens of the USA enjoy. Left up to pure democracy alone, cops would still be barging into gay bars and arresting anybody they felt like roughing up because the pure demographics of people who felt homosexuality was abhorrent (and still do) would have kept it that way by virtue of their votes. A representative democracy operating under the restrictions of a constitution which recognizes that individual rights are not derived from government but are inherent in nature and also limits government trampling of those rights is the reason we enjoy the freedoms we have today. Be very careful of calls to make democracy the determining factor in governance. In it’s purest form, democracy is nothing more than mob rule, rights be damned.

  2. Nathan

    Nathan writes:

    Another deduction eliminated from our State and Federal Income Tax Return!

    How many more disabilities are going to be disavowed?

    The more deductions, the less the-rich-pay!

  3. Matt

    The WHO is a political organization masquerading as a benevolent medical organization. This is 100% politics. But as a gay man, I couldn’t care less about transgender people. They are NOT the “same” as me (gay) nor are we all in this together.

  4. tek

    I cannot emphasis how many times I have tried to explain to people being gay has nothing to do with trans etc. I enjoy my penis and would never want to get rid of or harm it.

  5. Tim Browne

    I know a lot of happy, well adjusted gays, lesbians and straight folk. Every Transsexual I’ve ever interacted with is unhappy. They aren’t happy with their original gender and body. They aren’t happy with their new body. They aren’t happy with how they’re treated, with their lack of dating opportunities. It’s endless. They end up in unhappy little cliques that feed on themselves. I really don’t understand who put them on our team, but my vote is they go their own way.

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