Thursday, August 16, 2012
Being Trans Is No Longer Considered A Mental Illness
What that means is that being trans is no longer considered a mental illness.
We already knew that, but it took years of lobbying the American Psychiatric Association to change or completely remove the “mentally ill” characterization given to all trans people. Individuals may now be diagnosed with Gender Dysphoria, “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender.”
“All psychiatric diagnoses occur within a cultural context,” Jack Drescher, a New York psychiatrist and member of the APA subcommittee said. “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.”
The new designation will have profound effects on our community both positive and negative, but one of the immediate benefits is that it takes away a right wing talking point they used to oppose trans human rights laws. It will also affect us in the legal realm both positively and negatively, but there are arguments pro an con from trans legal scholars as to how it will play out.
But one thing we can all agree on is that it's a good thing to depathologize being trans.