A historic move by WHO, ‘stop classifying transgender people as mentally ill’

A historic move was taken by the WHO on Monday in the favour of transgender announcing that they no longer should be classify gender dysphoria as mental illness.

Lale Say, MD, coordinator of the Department of Reproductive Health and Research of the WHO said, “We had better understanding that this wasn’t actually a mental health condition. And that was causing stigma”.

The move came as the result of the changes made in the international guidelines of the classification of Disease and other health conditions. In the new International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11), gender dysphoria is moved from the ‘mental health’ chapter to ‘sexual health’ chapter.

By keeping gender dysphoria in ICD-11, transgender can access healthcare needed to feel more comfortable in their bodies. The step taken the WHO will bring a huge change for the transgender people.

A clinical psychologist specialised in sexuality and gender said that, “People have been working for so many years to depathologise transgender identities across gender spectrum. Normalising gender diversity is essential to ending discrimination against our communities” which is the goal of the new classification.

After the decision by the WHO, it is expected that the move will remove stigma and make the transgender more socially acceptable thereby reducing the violence cases against the trans gender.

A counsellor and advocate at Anti-violence Project, “Calling gender dysphoria, and in the past sexual orientation, a mental health disorder is what has led people into forced hospitalisation, conversion therapy, and the criminalisation of trans people for being openly out”.

All the trans gender do not hope for the changes but in case if they need medical involvement to start feeling comfortable with their bodies, the new changes by WHO will surely help them. it will directly remove those gate keepers who create barriers to trans people and acquit them the care that they need and want.


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