Being transgender is no longer classified as mental illness, says World Health Organization
The move, that has now removed its 'gender identity disorder' from the WHO manual, will have a 'liberating effect' on the transgender community all over the world, Graeme Reid, LGBT rights director at Human Rights Watch said.
In a giant move by the World Health Organization, on Friday, May 25, the World Health Assembly passed legislation that will no longer categorize being transgender as a mental health condition. The governing body represents 194 states. The move, that has now removed its "gender identity disorder" from the WHO manual, will have a "liberating effect" on the transgender community all over the world, Graeme Reid, LGBT rights director at Human Rights Watch said.
"Governments should swiftly reform national medical systems and laws that require this now officially outdated diagnosis," he said, "Transgender people are fighting stigma and discrimination that can be traced in part to medical systems that have historically diagnosed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."
This is the first update since being a transgender was diagnosed as an illness 29 years ago. WHO member states adopted the new edition of the International Classification of Diseases during an annual assembly in Geneva on Saturday, which calls the previous "gender identity disorder" as "gender incongruence" that has been removed from the list of mental disorders. It is an attempt to provide everyone with the dignity of life, they said.
Many states, mandate sex reassignment surgery in order for a trans person's gender identity to be legally recognized. This has been criticized as forcible sterilization by activists. There's also a transgender military ban in the US.
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