Being Transgender Not a Mental Disorder, WHO Says

From the WebMD Archives

 (WEDNESDAY, May 29, 2019 (HealthDay News)Transgender people will no longer be classified as having a mental disorder by the World Health Organization.

WHO officials voted to move the term they use for transgender people -- gender incongruence -- from its mental disorders chapter to its sexual health chapter in the 11th revision of its International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11), CNNreported.

That revision takes effect on Jan. 1, 2022.

The term gender incongruence is used by the WHO to describe people whose gender identity is different from the gender they were assigned at birth, CNN reported.

The new classification for transgender people is expected to improve their social acceptance while still providing them with access to important health resources, the WHO said last year when it announced the planned change.

Gender incongruence "was taken out from the mental health disorders because we had a better understanding that this wasn't actually a mental health condition, and leaving it there was causing stigma," Dr. Lale Say, coordinator of WHO's Adolescents and at-Risk Population team, said last June, CNN reported.

"So, in order to reduce the stigma while also ensuring access to necessary health interventions, this was placed in a different chapter," Say explained.