The World Health Organisation (WHO) is currently making moves to declassify transgender identity as a mental disorder.
The change is tentatively set to take place alongside the public health agency’s 2018 revised categorisation of mental and behavioural disorders, which is a part of the UN.
A new study published in The Lancet Psychiatry this week openly advocated that people who identify as transgender should no longer be classified as having a mental disorder, currently known as gender dysmorphia.
Lead researcher Geoffrey Reed from the National Autonomous University of Mexico says that “Stigma associated with both mental disorder and transgender identity has contributed to the precarious legal status, human rights violations, and barriers to appropriate care among transgender people.” He goes on to say that “the definition of transgender identity as a mental disorder has been misused to justify denial of health care and contributed to the perception that transgender people must be treated by psychiatric specialists, creating barriers to health care services.”
Pam Bullock of The New York Times says that “the intention [of changing the classification of transgender individuals] is to reduce barriers to care.”
Image: International transgender models