It’s hard to believe that United Nations once classified transgenderism as a mental illness. But UN plans to rectify its mistake when it releases the revised list of mental illnesses in 2018.
An agency working within World Health Organization plans to revamp the categorization of mental and behavioural disorder on a massive scale.
There has been a huge public outcry for removing transgenderism from the list and it seems ironical that United Nations- an organization that vouches for equal rights is the institution that classifies a large section of the society as unwell.
What Brought Forth The Change?
The first attempt at re-structuring the list was done by Geoffrey Reed who heads the National Autonomous University, Mexico.
Geoffrey was brought on board the WHO team a few years back to figure out whether being a transgender stemmed from mental instability or other social factors.
Geoffrey after the successful conclusion of the study stated, “”Stigma associated with both mental disorder and transgender identity has contributed to the precarious legal status, human rights violations, and barriers to appropriate care among transgender people.”
Why The Tests?
Recent studies have revealed that a large number of transgenders all over the world suffer from dysfunctionality and stress but the test result revealed that it was due to social rejection, maladjustment and not due to mental illness of any sort.
The good news is that the team has faced no opposition from within the ranks or from any other public agency and hence it is expected that the change will happen without much fuss.
The Next Step
The next step will be to confirm the results of other studies from around the world and then seek approval from WHO.
The aim is to help transgender seek equal and correct medication in hospitals and other medicare facilities. Since they are classified under medically-ill, they are wrongfully treated a number of times and are unable to attain the correct medication and care.
It is also important that transgenders are inculcated into the society at a much larger scale. Although attacks and violent hate crimes against them have decreased over time the social stigma attached to them is yet to go and declassifying transgenderism as mental illness is a big step towards it.
Views presented in the article are those of the author and not of ED.