news

World Health Organisation no longer recognises being trans as a mental health disorder

The new move has been praised by LGBTQ activists

2019-05-28

Words: Steve Brown

The World Health Organisation will no longer label being transgender as a mental health disorder.

Last week, the decision was approved by the World Health Assembly – the governing body that represents 194 member states – and the new move will help to ‘liberate’ trans and non-binary people.

Graeme Reid, LGBTQ rights director at Human Rights Watch, praised the move and said mental health issues play no part in a person’s gender identity.

He said: “The World Health Organisation’s removal of ‘gender identity disorder’ from its diagnostic manual will have a liberating effect on transgender people worldwide.

“Governments should swiftly reform national medical systems and laws that require this now officially outdated diagnosis.

“Transgender people are fighting stigma and discrimination that can be traced in part to medical systems that have historically diagnosed expressions of gender non-conformity as a mental pathology.

“But it’s the stigma, discrimination and bullying – and not anything inherent in gender non-conformity – that can inflict mental health problems in transgender people.”