“This should reduce stigma and improve care.”
In a move that has delighted LGBTQ+ community and its supporters, the World Health Organization (WHO) has officially passed a legislation removing being transgender from their list of mental health disorders. According to reports, this was done last May 25, 2019 during the World Health assembly where 194 member states “approved the update to its International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, a manual used globally to diagnose diseases,” wrote Unilad.
This means transgenders will now belong under the category of sexual health, instead of mental disorders. Moreover, ‘gender identity disorders’ will now be worded as ‘gender incongruence.’
In an official tweet, WHO wrote:
“In the International Classification of Diseases #ICD11, transgender is no longer considered a mental disorder, but is classified under sexual health conditions. This should reduce stigma and improve care.”
Human Rights Watch‘ LGBT rights director Graeme Reid later issued a statement about the new change, suggesting:
“The WHO’s removal of “gender identity disorder” from its diagnostic manual will have a liberating effect on transgender people worldwide. Governments should swiftly reform national medical systems and laws that require this now officially outdated diagnosis.
“Governments around the world were able to use the previous classification as the basis for discriminatory policies which required diagnosis and sometimes other medical procedures before transgender people could be recognised before the law.”
Reid also added:
“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.
“But it’s the stigma, discrimination, and bullying—and not anything inherent in gender nonconformity—that can inflict mental health problems in transgender people”.
Meanwhile, psychiatrist Jack Drescher said:
“There is substantial evidence that the stigma associated with the intersection of transgender status and mental disorders contributes to precarious legal status, human rights violations and barriers to appropriate health care for this population.”
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