Thursday, December 6, 2012

Being Transgender Is No Longer A Mental Disorder ?...............


UPDATED Repost from GLBTQJA 
Maybe, at least not yet for some ......... reports seem to be conflicting



Firstly, Last Saturday, the American Psychiatric Association board of trustees approved the latest proposed revisions to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, what will now be known as the DSM-V. This was supposed to have marked a historic milestone for people who are transgender and gender non-conforming, as their identities are no longer classified as a mental disorder. Homosexuality was similarly declassified as a mental disorder in 1973.

Until now, the term “gender identity disorder” has been used to diagnose people who are transgender. For conservatives, this has provided rhetorical carte blanche to describe the entire trans committee as disordered, delusional, and mentally ill. In some cases, this diagnosis has even been used to discriminate against trans people, with claims that they are unfit parents or employees, as examples. On the other hand, insurance companies have been more willing to cover the expenses associated with transition under this language, because treatment for a disorder is considered medically necessary, rather than cosmetic.

The new manual will diagnose transgender people with “Gender Dysphoria,” which communicates the emotional distress that can result from “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender.” This will allow for affirmative treatment and transition care without the stigma of disorder. Earlier this year, the APA also released new health guidelines for transgender patients, as well as a position statement affirming transgender care and civil rights. Both documents align with a new standard for respecting trans people in the medical community.

It was only after homosexuality was declassified as a mental disorder that ex-gay ministries formed, protesting the medical community’s decision to affirm non-heterosexual orientations. Some dangerous ex-trans ministries exist already and are championed by Focus on the FamilyNARTHPFOX, and other anti-LGBT organizations. It’s possible that these efforts may similarly increase in the wake of this DSM revision. (Think Progress) 


Some transgender advocates see this change in the DSM-V as an important step to removing stigma against transgender people based on false stereotypes about gender identity and expression, as well as the word “disorder.” Transgender people are no longer subject to a lifelong default diagnosis of their mental health. This change follows previous statements from the APA on mental healthcare for transgender people. However, other transgender advocates note the barriers this change may create to accessing health insurance coverage for trans-related medical care, which could already be prohibitively expensive even before the change.


But in an update on TransGriot December 6, 2012 there seems to be great unease within the US trans activist community in particular as the following will bring to bear: some people are contending the trans group didn't get depathologized and in fact the trans community is in an even worse position than they were in previously?

From Naomi Fontanos, executive director of Ganda Filipinas who also sits on the board of 
World Professional Association for Transgender Health, WPATH:

"To my friends who are asking about the confusing reports about the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) V of the American Psychiatric Association (APA). Here are the facts:

1. Gender Identity Disorder (GID) will only be replaced with a new name, Gender Dysphoria (GD), which is still classified as a sexual disorder in the DSM. GD will still be used to psychopathologize transgender and gender diverse people of all ages including children.

2. GID was not delisted from the DSM like homosexuality was delisted in 1973.

3. The DSM V will also include Transvestic Disorder that will replace Transvestic Fetishisim. Transvestic Disorder will include anyone who engages in sexual activity and wears the clothing of the gender that one was NOT ASSIGNED to him or her at birth. This diagnosis affects a large portion of transcommunities around the world.

Until GD is removed from the DSM, the fight to depsychopathologize the humanity of transgender people continues!"

Kelley Winters, who has been fighting the GID reform battle for years, had this to say: in her post breaking down the gender diagnoses "Despite retention of the unconscionable Transvestic Disorder category, I believe that the Gender Dysphoria category revisions in the DSM-5 will bring some long-awaited forward progress to trans and transsexual people facing barriers to social and medical transition. I hope that much more progress will follow."

Julia Serano also commented on the DSM-5 controversy.

Earlier this year the APA did offer a new position on transgender care as well, CLICK HERE from GLBTQJA.


Please see as well: Trans Depathologization: the spark of change

Also being watched closely by some activists overseas is the Jenna Talackova mission along with transpeople around the world to get Gender Identity Disorder removed from the next edition World Health Organization's ICD manual.


The International Classification of Diseases manual fight is important because insurance companies use ICD diagnostic codes when it comes time to bill for medical services performed. The renaming of Gender Identity Disorder to the proposed 'Gender Dysphoria' in the imminent publication of the DSM-V manual has also led to international trans activist efforts to get this done before the projected ICD-11 publishing date in 2015.

Here's Jenna's video and a link to her petition calling on the WHO to remove GID from the ICD-11 ..




France in 2010 became the first country to remove transsexuality from its list of mental disorders. The European Parliament in a September 28, 2011 resolution called for the WHO to withdraw gender identity disorders from the list of mental and behavoral disorders, and to ensure a non-pathologising reclassification in the negotiations on the 11th version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11).

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