Working internationally on gender identity, gender expression and bodily issues
An article published last week by The Lancet Psychiatry reported on the outcomes of the field study performed in Mexico on the proposed category of Gender Incongruence.1 Those outcomes provide clear evidence-based confirmation: trans-related categories must be removed from the ‘Mental and behavioural disorders’ chapter in the International Classification of Diseases.
That has been precisely the historical position held by trans activists, organizations and networks during the last decade.2-4 The celebration of this achievement must be accompanied, however, by some critical reflections on the following issues:
Good news about the field study in Mexico doesn’t mean that the ICD revision and reform process is over. We are confident that the remaining field studies, as well as the reports on the legal and policy implications of the ICD reform, will reveal the same evidence-based compatibility with trans people’s human rights. However, the final ICD draft still has to be completed, and it has to be voted on by the World Health Assembly in 2018. Much work remains to be done – and this is the right time to join us doing it.
We call on WHO, international and regional institutions, as well as media, donors and allies, to acknowledge the tireless efforts of trans activists, organizations and networks in this process; to join our struggle against exclusionary medico-legal classifications and to recognize the urgency of trans depathologization as it is a long overdue human rights imperative.
August 4th, 2016
Mauro Cabral Grinspan, Co-Director
GATE – Global Action for Trans* Equality
With the endorsement of:
STP -International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization
TGEU- Transgender Europe
APTN – Asia Pacific Transgender Network
ILGA – International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association www.ilga.org
1 Robles R, Fresán A, Vega-Ramírez H, Cruz-Islas J, Rodríguez-Pérez V, Domínguez-Martínez T, Reed GM. Removing transgender identity from the classification of mental disorders: a Mexican field study for ICD-11. The Lancet Psychiatry 2016, July 16. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/ S2215-0366(16)30165-1
2 GATE, Global Action for Trans* Equality. It’s time for reform. Trans* Health Issues in the International Classifications of Diseases. A report on the GATE Experts Meeting. The Hague, November 16-18, 2011. Available from: https://globaltransaction.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/its-time-for-reform.pdf
3 STP, International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization. Reflections from STP regarding the ICD revision process and publication of the DSM-5, 2013. Available from: http://stp2012.info/STP_Communique_August2013.pdf
4 TGEU, Transgender Europe. TGEU’s Position on the revision of the ICD 10, 2014. Available from: http://www.tgeu.org/sites/default/files/TGEU%20Position%20ICD%20Revision_0.pdf
5 GATE, Global Action for Trans* Equality. Critique and Alternative Proposal to the “Gender Incongruence of Childhood” Category in ICD-11. GATE Civil Society Expert Working Group Buenos Aires, April 4-6, 2013. Available from: https://globaltransaction.files.wordpress.com/2012/03/critique-and-alternative-proposal-to-the-_gender-incongruence-of-childhood_-category-in-icd-11.pdf
6 STP, International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization. STP Press Release: International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization 2015, October 24, 2015. Available from: http://www.stp2012.info/STP_Press_Release_October2015.pdf
7 TGEU, Transgender Europe. TGEU calls upon WHO to support gender variant children, not label them as “sick”, October 24, 2015.
8 Gender DynamiX. Cape Town Declaration Gender Incongruence in Childhood, 2014. Available from: http://www.genderdynamix.org.za/wp-content/uploads/2014/07/Cape-Town-Declaration_29-July-2014.doc
9 ILGA-Asia. Statement on Gender Incongruence in Childhood, October 27, 2015. Available from: http://ilga.org/the-ilga-asia-trans-pre-conference-statement-on-gender-incongruence-in-childhood/
10 ILGA World, Statement on Gender Incongruence in Childhood, 10 May 2016. Available from: http://ilga.org/what-we-do/gender-identity-and-gender-expression-program/gender-incongruence-childhood/
11 Winter S, Ehrensaft D, Pickstone-Taylor S, De Cuypere G, Tando D. The psycho-medical case against a gender incongruence of childhood diagnosis. Lancet Psychiatry 2016;3(5):404-405.
12 Cabral M, Suess A, Ehrt J, Seehole TJ, Wong J. Removal of a gender incongruence of childhood diagnostic category: a human rights perspective. Lancet Psychiatry 2016;3(5):405-406.
13 Suess A, Espineira K, Crego Walters P. Depathologization. TSQ, Transgender Studies Quarterly 2014; 1(1-2):73-77.
14 Cabral M. Desvelos (notas desveladas sobre la patologización de la transexualidad). El Teje 2009;5:3. Available from: http://www.rojas.uba.ar/img/libros/el-teje/teje_05.pdf
15 Theilen, J.T. (2014). Depathologisation of Transgenderism and International Human Rights Law. Human Rights Law Review 14(2):327-342.