The World Health Organisation (WHO) will no longer categorize being transgender as a mental health condition, an alteration that could be life-changing for trans and non-binary people around the globe.
The decision was approved on Friday (May 25) by the World Health Assembly. Human rights groups say that the change (which will remove numerous obsolete requirements for a medical diagnosis) could make the process of transitioning much easier for trans people. “The World Health Organisation’s removal of ‘gender identity disorder’ from its diagnostic manual will have a liberating effect on transgender people worldwide,” said Graeme Reid, LGBT rights director at Human Rights Watch.
“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,” he said.
“Governments should swiftly reform national medical systems and laws that require this now officially outdated diagnosis.’’ Reid argued that while mental health issues play no part in a person’s gender identity, the oppression of transgender people can lead to psychological damage and suffering.