Medical community considers removing being transgender from list of mental ailments

Transgender DNC delegate undergoes genitalia exam by TSA agents
By @vitthernandez on
Transgender Women
Participants dressed as actress Joanna Lumley take part in the annual Pride London Parade, which highlights issues of the gay, lesbian and transgender community, in London, Britain June 25, 2016. Reuters/Neil Hall

More than a year after US Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said he is willing to accept transgender people in the military, the medical community is now considering removing being transgender from the list of mental disorders. The proposed change in the WHO International Classification of Diseases (ICD) is the result of a study that mental distress suffered by transgender people is the result of social rejection and violence.

The research debunks belief held for decades that mental distress was caused by being transgender, reports The Guardian. When people view transgender people as having a mental ailment, it could force them to seek psychiatric care rather than physical care.

Published in Lancet journal, the study warns linking being transgender with mental disease could be used by governments to deny transgender people decision-making authority such as child custody and reproduction. A first report on Transgender Equality, passed by the UK House of Common’s Women and Equalities Committee and published in early 2016, estimates the number of gender incongruent people in UK at 650,000.

The report says because of transphobia, their careers are undermined as well as their incomes, living standard, and mental and physical healths. One-third of transgender adults and one-half of gender-variant youth try suicide.

In Australia, a clearer number of transgender people might be known with their inclusion in the count to be made by the Australian Bureau of Statistics since 2016 is a census year down under. The count includes members of the transgender and gender non-binary community as well as intersex Australians.

With the possible change in the World Health Organisation’s ICD, it would likely have “a significant impact” on treatment of transgender people by medical establishments and viewed by society. Professor Geoffrey Reed, senior author of the research and from the National Autonomous University of Mexico, explains, “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.”

The study came out two days after a transgender activist who would attend the Democratic National Convention as a delegate was groped and underwent a fully nude body inspection of her genitalia by agents of the Transport Security Administration, reports the New York Daily News.

In Hong Kong, a Filipino transgender was sent to the Siu Lam Psychiatric Centre, a maximum security prison for transgender offenders, where Navarro Luigi Recasa – who is serving a two-year sentence for drug charges – has suffered sexual abuse and deprived of hormones, reports South China Morning Post.

It is a common practice even in western nations, resulting in prison rapes and death of transgender inmates.

VIDEO: Transgendered Woman Sent to Male Prison

Source: InformOverload