Transgender not a mental illness: WHO

WHO TRANSGENDER.jpgSometimes, large organizations are among the slowest to wake up and smell the roses. But at least they do….eventually.Is th

The World Health Organization (WHO) recently announced it is revising its international manual of diagnoses in order to DECLASSIFY transgender as a mental illness.

Just in time for Pride.

A big deal? is a big deal because according to IFL Science, which first broke the news, codes in the manual of diagnoses are used by countries to determine where to invest resources as well as how to set certain insurance billing standards. By declassifying being transgender as a mental illness, it now becomes an sexual health issue of, not a mental health one, which removes a lot of stigma from being trans and might offer more resources to the community.

At least at the international diplomatic level.

But hey, every bit of progress IS progress and should be celebrated.

WHO says enough evidence exists suggesting that being transgender is not a mental disorder and classifying it as such can cause “enormous stigma” for those who identify themselves as transgender.

Of course, we knew that.

Now, we also knew there always has been evidence confirming being trans (or trans attracted) is not a mental illness. It’s understandable though that WHO is making the “now there is enough evidence” argument: they have to reach all their constituency, which I’m sure includes people who still disbelieve.

It’s great to see the WHO joining the growing list of organizations coming to the right side of history. Here’s a video of a WHO representative speaking about the revision:

Be thoughtful about Pride Month

Chris Johnson WHAT STORIES
Photo by Chris Johnson

Seems every minority has a month. The LGBTQ community is no exception. This month is Pride.

An interesting factoid about Pride: it was spearheaded by the transgender community. Pride sprung from the Stonewall Riots. A major figure at Stonewall was Marsha P. Johnson, a well-known black transwoman in the community. Her and other transgender people were primarily responsible for sowing the seeds which became pride festivals celebrated across the country.

But that’s not really the real interesting factoid. The really interesting factoid is that while gay, lesbian and bisexuals primarily benefit from Pride awareness, those same communities once rejected transgender people from their ranks.

To some degree they still do. Despite this, we see a tremendous upsurge of transgender awareness. I think that’s exceptional. Trans people will not be held back. They represent a leading edge of what it means to be human and humanity is wanting to express itself in ALL ways.

Regardless how others think about transgender people and the people who love them, Pride offers a reminder for transgender people and those who find transgender people attractive to check your stories. What is it you’re thinking about who and what you are? Are your stories positive? Are they uplifting? They better be if you’re wanting what you want.

Your stories about you, about the world, about everything are determining your life experience. This month, take a moment to reflect on what you’re thinking, sharing, tweeting, reposting, reading.

It makes all the difference in the only world that matters: yours.