Transgender No Longer a Mental Illness

What are the implications?

Photo by Think Stock

In a big step for transgender rights, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) has removed being transgender as a mental illness. Rather than being labeled as mentally unfit, transgender individuals will now be diagnosed with something called gender dysphoria – which suggests emotional stress when it comes to gender identity. This is a major change from when gender identity disorder was listed as a mental disorder 20 years ago.

In an interview with The Advocate, APA’s Jack Drescher said, “All psychiatric diagnoses occur within a cultural context. We know there is a whole community of people out there who are not seeking medical attention and live between the two binary categories. We wanted to send the message that the therapist’s job isn’t to pathologize.”

So rather than to suggest that somehow gender identity can be treated, if not cured, the new classification will ideally bring more acceptance. In the legal world, it could also have positive implications as many transgender individuals risk losing their jobs and children when the case is made for mental incompetence.

Keep in mind that homosexuality was also considered a mental illness up until 1973.

Be respectful of our online community and contribute to an engaging conversation. We reserve the right to ban impersonators and remove comments that contain personal attacks, threats, or profanity, or are flat-out offensive. By posting here, you are permitting Philadelphia magazine and Metro Corp. to edit and republish your comment in all media.

  • http://northernbusiness.org/Components/ResourceInstaller/index.asp?fenlei=brand brand

    Very nice post, thanks so much for sharing. Do you happen to have an RSS feed I can subscribe to?

  • http://board.bite-fight.us/user/23701-sxtlawann/ download ps3 emulator

    Hello! Where did you get design of your website? It’s pretty amazing ;)