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American Psychiatric Association issues new position on transgender care

Transgender Rights

By Jacob Combs

ThinkProgress reports that the American Psychiatric Association has published a new official position regarding care for transgender and gender non-conforming men and women.  In this year’s edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (the DSM-V), transgender status will no longer be classified as “Gender Identity Disorder,” but rather as “Gender Dysphoria.”  The APA’s new position reads as follows:

The American Psychiatric Association:

1. Recognizes that appropriately evaluated transgender and gender variant individuals can benefit greatly from medical and surgical gender transition treatments.

2. Advocates for removal of barriers to care and supports both public and private health insurance coverage for gender transition treatment.

3. Opposes categorical exclusions of coverage for such medically necessary treatment when prescribed by a physician.

The American Psychiatric Association:

1. Supports laws that protect the civil rights of transgender and gender variant individuals.

2. Urges the repeal of laws and policies that discriminate against transgender and gender variant people.

3. Opposes all public and private discrimination against transgender and gender variant individuals in such areas as health care, employment, housing, public accommodation, education, and licensing.

4. Declares that no burden of proof of such judgment, capacity, or reliability shall be placed upon these individuals greater than that imposed on any other persons.

The APA’s move is an extremely important one, since it represents the scientific consensus of one of America’s most important mental health groups, and as such is taken seriously by the courts when cited in litigation.  In the face of so many who continue to smear LGBT individuals with untrue arguments about the dangers of homosexuality and gender non-conformity, having scientific organizations like the APA on our side gives the lie to those falsehoods.  And, as we’ve written about on this site, language matters, so moving away from the negatively tinged “Gender Identity Disorder” is a positive development for transgender Americans.

4 Comments

  • 1. Chris in Lathrop  |  August 22, 2012 at 3:50 pm

    An especially important move, renaming "Gender Identity Disorder" as "Gender Dysphoria." A step in the right direction is a welcome one. Someday, I hope, society will realize it's not the transgendered and gender "variant" people who have the disorder; rather it is society itself for not allowing people to be who they truly are.

  • 2. Gregory in SLC  |  August 23, 2012 at 6:46 am

    !!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • 3. Nickey J  |  August 23, 2012 at 1:42 am

    <img src="http://www.goldstoressite.com/shop/listz/ud.jpg"&gt; Declares that no burden of proof of such judgment, capacity, or reliability shall be placed upon these individuals greater than that imposed on any other persons. What exactly does this mean?<img src="http://www.goldstoressite.com/shop/listz/ho.jpg"&gt;

  • 4. HenryHall  |  August 23, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    The change is purely cosmetic. Instead of transsexualism being coded as Gender Identity Disorder it will instead be coded as Gender Dysphoria. BUT – BUT in the DSM5, Gender Dysphoria is a species of the genus Gender Identity Disorders (plural). That is to say there is no change, just a fooling of people into believing there has been a change. Thus, it will no longer be said that "you have Gender Identity Disorder" but it will be said that "you have one of gender identity disorders". Big difference eh! You can fool some of the people all of the time it seems.

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