• Friday, Apr 19, 2019
  • Last Update : 08:14 am

Being transgender is no longer a mental illness

  • Published at 03:39 pm June 21st, 2018

WHO’s new catalogue lists ‘gender incongruence’ under ‘conditions related to sexual health’

Transgender people, who identify as the opposite gender to the one they were born with, should no longer be considered mentally ill, according to a new UN categorization.

The World Health Organization (WHO) issued a new catalogue on Monday covering 55,000 diseases, injuries and causes of death, in which it discreetly re-categorized transgenderism, according to The Guardian.

The new catalogue, which still needs to be approved by UN member countries, so-called “gender incongruence” is now listed under “conditions related to sexual health”, instead of “mental, behavioural and neurodevelopmental disorders”.

Reducing stigma

WHO says gender incongruence is characterized as a “marked and persistent incongruence between an individual’s experienced gender and the assigned sex.”

“We expect the re-categorization will reduce stigma,” Lale Say, the coordinator of WHO’s department of reproductive health and research, said.

“We think it will reduce stigma so that it may help better social acceptance for these individuals.”

The document, which member states will be asked to approve during the World Health Assembly in Geneva next May, will take effect from January 1, 2022 if it is adopted.

Several countries have already taken steps to reclassify transgenderism and take it off the list of mental disorders, including France and Denmark.

Despite widespread lack of acceptance of transgender people in many parts of the world, WHO remains hopeful that their text will win approval from the UN countries.