A step in the right direction: WHO proposes to remove F64 ”gender identity disorders” from the mental and behavioural disorders
August 22, 2014
TGEU welcomes that in the ICD 11 beta draft section 7: Mental and behavioural disorders (used to be section F in the ICD 10) the category ”gender identity disorders” has been removed. As well other stigmatizing categories from the former F65 category such as Fetishism, Fetishistic transvestitism or sadomasochism do not show any more.
The WHO proposes a ”gender incongruence” category under the new section 6: ”Conditions related to sexual health”. The new category includes both Gender incongruence of adolescence and adulthood (6A50) and Gender incongruence of childhood (6A51). Not labelling trans people as mentally ill anymore will be an important step forward and will help to reduce stigma.
To include ”Gender incongruence of adolescence and adulthood” in the sexual health category is something that trans human rights NGOs such as Global Action for Trans* Equality (GATE), Stop Trans Pathologization (STP) and Transgender Europe (TGEU) have been demanding. However, the definition needs to be clearly focusing on trans people with a need for medical treatment.
Unfortunately the WHO experts did not follow the recommendation of trans activists to drop the diagnosis of gender incongruence in childhood completely from the ICD 11.
”In the next years it will be our task to lobby the WHO to remove the childhood diagnosis completely from the ICD 11 as it is an unnecessary category. Children need the freedom to be who they are. But before puberty there is no need for medical treatment and therefore no need for inclusion in the ICD. At the same time we will have to closely follow and analyse the details of the Gender incongruence chapter.” says Julia Ehrt, Executive Director of TGEU.
The proposed shift of the categories relevant for trans persons could be the first step towards an alternative approach towards trans identities within the medical and psychological establishment. The careful reader will notice that the wording of the category is non-binary and potentially open for more than just male and female genders. However we will have to see whether the category stays like this until the final vote of the WHO general assembly anticipated for 2017 and if it does how it will eventually be applied in everyday practice.
is a European human rights NGO working for the human rights and equality of all trans people. More Information: www.tgeu.org
GATE – Global action for Trans*Equality is a global human rights initiative advocating for the human rights of
transgender persons. More information: www.transactivists.org
STP – Stop Trans Pathologization is an initiative that works towords the depathologization of trans
identities. More information: www.stp2012.info
TGEU Executive Director Dr. Julia Ehrt is available for interviews and
questions and can be reached at:
email: Julia [replace this bracket with the at sign] tgeu.org
phone: +49 (0)30 5360 2664