THE GUERRILLA ANGEL REPORT — I don’t know about you but ‘mental defect’ is not something I want to see still describing trans people in the soon-to-be-updated American Psychiatric Association ‘diagnostic manual’ (DSM-5). Never mind what this term does to a trans person’s esteem or how it influences society’s view of trans people, the fact of the matter is this: it’s wrong.
Today, trans people are harmed when these archaic terms are used for political purposes. Conservatives and other “family values” organizations routinely uses ADA trans “disorder” terms against trans people to achieve political agendas — mostly trying to stop trans people from obtaining equality. Other examples of the misuse of the terminology include the loss of parental rights for some trans people who have children.
It took until almost the mid-’80s for the APA to completely agree that being gay was normal — not a medical condition — and this came only after a lot of pressure from gay advocates. Trans people consists of a much smaller population — a disadvantage for the trans advocates lobbying the APA for changes, yet there are indications they are making substantial progress.
One example of terminology change under consideration a shift from the term Gender Identity Disorder to Gender Dysphoria. This would remove much of the negative stigma stemming from the original term and take the wind out of using its usage for political purposes.
I found it interesting that removing transgender medical terms completely from the book completely would present new dilemmas — for instance, it would be difficult to get existing insurance policies to pay for doctor visits or sex reassignment surgery if doctors cannot back up a diagnosis using the APA manual.
While I don’t expect everything to get wrapped up in a nice tidy package, pleasing everyone, I do expect the new version to make it more difficult for its contents to be used against us. The revised manual is due about a year from now.
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