World Health Organization: Transgender identity is not mental illness

Transgender identity is no longer classified as a mental illness, following the World Health Organization’s latest revision of its International Classification of Diseases (ICD). Gender incongruence, as it is referred to by the WHO, is defined as “characterized by a marked and persistent incongruence between an individual’s experienced gender and the assigned sex”. The WHO hopes that this revised definition will remove the stigma surrounding transgender people.

Despite no longer being classified as a mental illness, transgender identity will remain listed in the ICD, a WHO-created database classifying and tracking health statistics. Clarifying this decision, the WHO wrote: “While evidence is now clear that it is not a mental disorder, and indeed classifying it in this can cause enormous stigma for people who are transgender, there remain significant health care needs that can best be met if the condition is coded under the ICD.”

Advocate groups such as Stop Trans Pathologization have called on the WHO and American Psychiatric Association to completely remove transgender identity from the ICD, hoping to push independently for complete coverage of transition-related surgeries.

Read more at The Advocate