TGEU Media Release
20th October 2012
On the occasion of the International Action Day on Trans Depathologization Transgender Europe calls on the European states to recognize that all persons have the right to their gender identity.
Transgender Identities are still regarded as mental disorders in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) of the World Health Organization. TGEU calls for a depathologization of trans identities and demands a change into a non-pathological category to guaranty full access to trans-related health care and recognition of identities.
“Instead of insisting in an often unnecessary and unwanted diagnosis, health care professionals need to work towards supporting trans people and their human rights. Attempting to diagnose diversity is pointless – trans people are not disordered. Healthcare providers must support trans people’s health.“ says Maria Sundin, TGEU co-chair.
To require a mental health diagnosis hinders many trans people from enjoying the most basic rights, as it limits access to care providers and to insurance covered and public funded health services. Moreover many European countries require a diagnosis for a change of gender marker. As a result many trans people find themselves in limbo and are barred from enjoying most basic human rights.
Transgender Europe emphasizes that every person has a right to self-determination.
“Many trans people require documents and medical treatments to live a life in dignity. However, they are forced to undergo degrading and often unwanted diagnostic and medical processes. Laws that are based on the idea that trans people are actually disordered reinforce stereotypes and social exclusion.” explains TGEU Policy Officer Richard Köhler.
The European parliament in 2011 called for trans de-pathologization and Finland, Norway and Sweden removed some of gender identities from their national versions of the ICD-10.
Policy makers at the WHO, EU, Council of Europe and on national levels need to speak out against stigmatization and in support of trans diversity.
On October 20th manifestations and actions are held worldwide to protest against Transgender identities being considered as mental disorders. In October 2011, actvist groups of 70 cities in Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and Oceania organized demonstrations and other actions.
For further information contact TGEU Policy Officer Richard Köhler at richard [at] tgeu.org