International Day of Action
for Trans Depathologization 2013
Press Release of STP, International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization, October 19, 2013
The International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization 2013 took place on Saturday, October 19, 2013, called to action by STP, International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization. On this day and throughout the month of October, more than 100 actions for trans depathologization were organized in 48 cities worldwide, among them demonstrations, political rallies, conferences, discussion forums, information activities, workshops, film screenings, theatre, performances, music events, photography actions and murals. Activities from different world regions were focused on this year’s slogan, “Stop Pathologizing Gender Diversity in Childhood”.
STP, International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization is an international activist initiative that works for the depathologization of trans gender expressions, trajectories and identities. STP is supported by more than 370 groups, organizations and networks in six continents, as well as numerous individual supporters. In the past seven years, during each month of October coordinated activities for trans depathologization have been organized in cities of different countries, and in the past five years these have been under the title STP, International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization. Since 2009, the International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization has been celebrated in a total of 137 different cities of Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and Oceania, in many of them more than once.
The Call to Action 2013 of the International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization was launched under the slogan “Stop Pathologizing Gender Diversity in Childhood”, with the objective to express concern regarding the continued diagnostic classification of gender diversity in childhood and the presence of dynamics of medicalization, pathologization and psychiatrization of non-normative gender expressions in childhood, observed in the health care, educational and social contexts.
STP, International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization demands the removal of the proposal of including a category of “Gender Incongruence of Children” / “Gender Incongruence of Childhood” in the ICD-11, the International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems, 11th Revision, World Health Organization (WHO). This proposal of inclusion is announced in two recent articles published by members of the WHO working group in charge of reviewing the trans-specific categories in the ICD (Drescher, Cohen-Kettenis, Winter, 2012; Drescher 2013). STP also demands the elimination of the category “Gender Dysphoria in Children” from the DSM-5, Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, Fifth Edition, published by the American Psychiatric Association (for a more detailed reflection on a diagnostic classification related to gender diversity in childhood: see STP Communiqué “Reflections from STP regarding the ICD Revision Process and DSM Publication”, August 2013).
Furthermore, STP demands the right to free gender exploration and expression. The Campaign recommends avoiding a medicalization of gender diversity in childhood and proposes to work towards a recognition of gender expressions which differ from the social expectations related to the birth-assigned gender in family, social and educational contexts, a respect of fluid and non-binary gender expressions and identities, as well as a provision of support to children with non-normative gender expressions in situations of discrimination and transphobia.
Meanwhile, the main demands of STP, International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization remain standing, among them the removal of the diagnostic categories ‘Gender Dysphoria’ / ‘Gender Identity Disorders’ and ‘Transvestic Disorder’ / ‘Fetishistic Transvestism’ from the diagnostic manuals DSM and ICD, public coverage of trans health care, as well as the substitution of the current assessment model by an approach focused on autonomy, informed decision making and accompaniment. With the aim of facilitating state-funded coverage, STP proposes the introduction of a non-pathologizing reference of trans health care in the ICD-11, as a health care process not based on illness or mental disorder. Moreover, STP demands the removal of medical requirements from existing gender identity laws, as well as the approval of new gender recognition laws based on a depathologization and human rights perspective.
After the DSM-5 publication and while the ICD revision is still in process, the demand of depathologizing trans gender expressions, trajectories and identities in general, and specifically gender diversity in childhood, acquires a specific relevance.
The Coordination Team of STP, International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization, would like to thank all groups, organizations, activist networks and individuals for their participation in the International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization 2013.
Stop Trans Pathologization!
Stop Pathologizing Gender Diversity in Childhood!
Coordination Team of STP, International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization, October 19, 2013
Spanish Version: PDF
English Version: PDF
STP launches the Call to Action
for the International Day of Action
for Trans Depathologization
and the Publication of a New Communiqué
STP, International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization, announces the date for this year's International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization, which will take place on Saturday, October 19, 2013, and invites, as in previous years, activist groups from throughout the world to organize demonstrations and other actions in support of trans depathologization.
The slogan of the 2013 Call for Action is “Stop Pathologizing Gender Diversity in Childhood”.
In addition, we would like to inform you of the publication of a new STP communiqué, in which we reflect on the diagnostic classification of gender diversity in childhood, the ICD revision process and the DSM-5 publication:
Spanish version: “Reflexiones de STP sobre el proceso de revisión de la CIE y la publicación del DSM-5”
English version: “Reflections from STP regarding the ICD revision process and publication of the DSM-5”
If you would like to receive further information or to participate in this international day of mobilization, please contact us at: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org.
STP Communiqué: "Recent Developments related to the DSM and ICD Revision Processes"
The coordination team of the International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization announces the publication of the Communiqué "Recent Developments related to the DSM and ICD Revision Processes".
Spanish Version: PDF
English Version: PDF
STP 2012 participated in the Trans Preconference and in the ILGA World Conference in Stockholm
STP 2012 participated in the Trans Preconference and in the ILGA World Conference, celebrated in Stockholm on December 10 – 16, 2012 (program).
STP 2012 supports the declaration approved by the Conference participants "ILGA World Conference condemns attacks on rights of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex (LGBTI) people".
International Day of Action
for Trans Depathologization 2012:
More than 100 Actions Worldwide
STP 2012 Press Release, October 20, 2012
On October 20, 2012, International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization, actions for trans depathologization took place in different regions worldwide, within the annual call of action of STP 2012, International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization.
Specifically, this ‘Trans October’ included over 100 activities in 48 cities of different continents, organized by more than 80 activist groups and organizations. Furthermore, to date more than 350 groups, networks and organizations from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and Oceania, as well as numerous individuals, have declared their support for SP 2012.
STP 2012 demands the removal of the diagnostic categories ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ and ‘Transvestic Fetishism’ / ‘Fetishistic Transvestism’ from the DSM (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) published by the American Psychiatric Association, and from the ICD (International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems), edited by the WHO, World Health Organization. Furthermore, this campaign calls for state-funded coverage of trans health care, as well as the substitution of the current evaluation model for accessing trans-specific treatments, for an approach based on autonomy and informed decision making. With the aim of facilitating state-funded coverage, STP 2012 proposes the introduction of a non-pathologizing reference of trans health care in the ICD-11, as a health care process not based on illness or mental disorder. Furthermore, the International Campaign STP 2012 demands the removal of medical requirements from existing gender identity laws, as well as the approval of new gender recognition laws based on a depathologization and human rights perspective.
The activist movement for trans depathologization is in a decisive moment: the publication of the DSM-5 is planned for 2013, and the ICD revision process is currently in process, with the publication of the 11th version announced for 2015.
Over the past few years, the demand for trans depathologization has achieved an increasing recognition from activist networks, professional associations, governments, as well as international bodies. At the same time, trans people continue to be exposed to situations of pathologization, psychiatrization, discrimination, social exclusion and transphobic violence. Finally, the current situation of economic crisis encloses new risks for a loss of citizenship rights and an increase of social inequalities.
For these reasons, the demands of STP 2012 and the activists groups from different world regions that participated in the International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization 2012 are more pressing than ever.
¡Stop Trans Pathologization!
STP 2012 condemns the transphobic and xenophobic attack
suffered by participants of the TGEU / TENI Transgender Council in Dublin, September 2012
STP 2012 participated in the 4th Transgender Council organized by TGEU, Transgender Europe and TENI, Transgender Equality Network Ireland, that took place on September 6-9, 2012 in Dublin, Ireland.
STP 2012 condemns the transphobic and xenophobic attack committed against various participants during the Council (for more information, see: TGEU / TENI Media Release; Declaration approved by the participants of the Transgender Council).
We note with sadness that trans people continue to be exposed to situations of physical and verbal violence. We would like to express our solidarity with the people who suffered the attack.
launches the Call to Action for the International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization 2012 and the publication of two documents
STP 2012, the International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization, announces the date for this year's International Day of Action for Trans Depathologization, which will take place on Saturday, October 20th, 2012, and invites, as in previous years, activist groups from throughout the world to organize demonstrations and other actions in support of trans depathologization. If you would like to receive further information or participate in this international day of mobilization, please contact us at: email@example.com.
In addition to this, STP 2012 announces the publication of two reflective documents developed by the coordination team of STP 2012, available in Spanish and English:
Spanish Version (PDF):
“Reflexiones sobre el proceso de revisión de la CIE desde una perspectiva de despatologización y derechos humanos”
“Reflexiones sobre los SOC-7”
English Version (PDF):
“Reflections on the ICD Revision Process from a Depathologization and Human Rights Perspective”
“Reflections on the SOC-7”
May 5, 2012:
STP 2012 Statement in solidarity of Occupy the American Psychiatric Association
On May 5, 2012, STP 2012 published the following Statement in solidarity of Occupy the American Psychiatric Association:
Trans* Pathologization (STP) 2012 Statement in solidarity of
Occupy the American Psychiatric
Over the past few years, we have observed a growing inclusion of trans* depathologization issues in national and international human rights political agendas. While observing a growing support to the Stop Trans* Pathologization 2012 Campaign's main depathologization demands from activists and professionals, and an increased presence of this issue in international political agendas, we are also noticing a lack of translation of these statements of interest into actual changes in the health and legal situations of trans people in various regions around the world. Thus, trans people’s experiences continue to be characterized by a logic of pathologization.
The Stop Trans* Pathologization 2012 Campaign notes, with concern, that despite recent modifications in the latest version of the DSM-V draft, trans* expressions, trajectories and identities continue to be classified as mental health issues, both through the diagnostic criteria of “gender dysphoria” and “transvestic disorder.”
In addition, we also observe the persistence of pathologizing situations in trans* persons’ daily lives, both in legal and health arenas. In many countries around the world, trans* people have no access to good quality, state-covered trans-specific healthcare. In countries where the public health system does include trans*-specific healthcare, access to services is often bound to psychiatric or medical monitoring.
Considering this constant categorization of trans* identities as pathological and its strong connection to stigmatization, social exclusion and transphobic violence, STP 2012 will continue to demand declassification of trans* expressions, trajectories, identities and bodies in the contexts of healthcare, law and social arenas. Due to the imminent release date of the next edition of the DSM, it is of utmost urgency that we lobby for trans* depathologization now!
STP 2012, International Campaign Stop Trans* Pathologization May, 2012
The Declaration is also accessible here.
November 2, 2011:
Joint Press Release (IGLHRC, COC Netherlands, GATE, ILGA-Europe, TGEU, ARC International, STP 2012):
Human Rights Leaders Urge Turkish Government
to Drop Charges against Transgender Activists
Harassment of Transgender Individuals Must End
For Immediate Release
(New York, Nov 2, 2011) - In a joint letter sent to the Turkish Ministry of Justice today, seven human rights organizations called for an end to the continuous harassment of transgender individuals and human rights defenders and expressed alarm at the conviction and potential imprisonment of leaders from the organization Pembe Hayat.
On October 26, 2011, Ankara’s 15th Criminal Court of First Instance sentenced three transgender human rights defenders, Naz Güdümen , Buse Kılıçkaya , and Selay Tunç, to jail terms ranging from five to eighteen months. They were convicted of offenses such as “resisting the police” and “insulting the police.” While the jail sentences for Ms. Tunc and Ms. Güdümen were suspended, the court’s ruling in the case of Ms. Kılıçkaya is to be enforced if it is upheld by the Court of Appeals.
The court’s ruling was based on charges for events that took place on June 19, 2010. That day, the police pulled over the three human rights defenders while they drove through the Seyranbaglari Mah neighborhood in Ankara and subsequently arrested them. According to the groups, the arrests were arbitrary and part of a pattern of systematic harassment of transgender individuals, particularly those defending their human rights.
The letter to the Justice Minister was signed by the International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission (IGLHRC), COC Netherlands, Global Action for Trans* Equality, the European Region of the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association (ILGA-Europe), Transgender Europe (TGEU), ARC International, and STP 2012, International Stop Trans Pathologization Campaign.
Ms. Kılıçkaya and Ms. Tunç are co‐founders and current board members of Pembe Hayat, and Ms. Güdümen is an active member. Pembe Hayat (Pink Life Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Transsexual Solidarity Association) is an Ankara‐based organization that works to eliminate all forms of discrimination and violence motivated by homophobia and transphobia.
In their letter, the human rights organizations requested that Turkish authorities drop all charges against Ms. Güdümen, Ms. Kılıçkaya, and Ms. Tunç and investigate the discriminatory treatment of transgender individuals by the police and courts. The groups also requested the Turkish government provide sensitivity training for law enforcement officers and court officials in order to prevent future cases of transphobia and homophobia.
For more information, please contact:
In New York: Hossein Alizadeh
International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission
In Buenos Aires: Mauro Cabral
GATE - Global Action for Trans* Equality
(Spanish, English): +54-9-351-558-9876
In Amsterdam: Bjorn van Roozendaal
(Dutch, English): +31-622558300
In Geneva: John Fisher
(French, English): +41-79-508-3968
In Stockholm: Maria Sundin
(English, Swedish) Tel: +46 70-729 01 66
In Brussels: Juris Lavrikovs
(English, Russian, Latvian) + 32 496 70 83 75
In Madrid: Amets Suess
STP 2012, International Stop Trans Pathologization Campaign
(Spanish, English): + 34 659 52 44 46
STP 2012 at the ILGA-Europe Conference
‘Human Rights and "Traditional Values": clash or dialogue?’, Turin, Italia
From October 27 - 30, 2011, STP 2012 participated in the ILGA-Europe Conference ‘Human Rights and "Traditional Values": clash or dialogue?’, Turin, Italia (Programm).
STP 2012 Press Release:
Actions for trans depathologization in 70 cities of 32 countries
The International Campaign STP 2012 organizes the International Day of Action for Trans* Depathologization – STP 2012 denounces the detentions of activists in Moscow.
On Saturday, October 22nd 2011, International Day of Action for Trans* Depathologization, demonstrations and other actions took place in 70 cities of 32 countries. The mobilizations were carried out in the context of a call to action organized by the International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization 2012, with the intent of fighting for the depathologization of trans* identities.
The main demands of STP 2012 are the withdrawal of the 'Gender Dysphoria' / 'Gender Identity Disorder' categories from diagnostic manuals -the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) and the World Health Organization's International Classification of Diseases (ICD)- in the next editions with expected release dates for 2013 and 2015, as well as the guarantee of healthcare rights for trans* people, including public coverage of trans-specific medical attention of the highest quality possible and the substitution of the current external evaluation model for a focus based on autonomy and informed decision. With a goal of facilitating public coverage, STP 2012 proposes a non-pathologizing mention of trans-specific medical attention in the ICD, as a health process not based on disease.
Every month of October, the International Campaign STP 2012 calls for mobilizations for trans* depathologization. While in 2010 actions took place in 61 cities, in 2011 the number of cities involved increased to 70. In total, during 'Trans* October 2011' over 120 activities took place for trans* depathologization in various regions around the world, among them, demonstrations, rallies, conferences, workshops, film forums and performances. In addition, to this date over 300 groups, organizations, networks and federations from Africa, Latin America, Asia, Europe, Oceania and North America have declared their support to the STP 2012 Campaign.
STP 2012, International STP 2012 Campaign denounces the detentions of activists in Moscow during the political rally for trans depathologization and demands the withdrawal of all charges against the arrested individuals.
STP 2012, International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization, October 22nd 2011
To access more information about the STP 2012 Campaign, please go to: www.stp2012.info
STP 2012 Press Release: PDF
STP 2012 at the Seminar “Trans Health in the Nordic Context”, Linköping, Sweden
On October 12, 2011, STP 2012 participated in the Seminar “Trans Health in the Nordic Context” in Linköping, Sweden, organized by the Nordic Trans Network, in collaboration with Tema Genus Higher Seminars and Forum for Gender Studies & Equality, Linköping University and Queer Seminar, Uppsala University.
STP 2012 at the WPATH 2011 Symposium, Atlanta
STP 2012 participated in the Symposium of WPATH, World Professional Association for Transgender Health, that took place in Atlanta, United States, from September 24 - 28, 2011 (program).
STP 2012 publishes the English and Portuguese versions of its Communiqué
titled “Reflections on Trans Depathologization and Health Rights”
The English and Portuguese translations of the STP 2012 Communiqué titled “Reflections on Trans Depathologization and Health Rights,” published in Spanish in July 2011, is now available.
STP 2012 participated in the Seminar
“Dialogue on Increasing Access to Health Care for Transgender Communities”, Sexual Health and Rights Project (SHARP), Open Society Foundations
STP 2012 participated in the “Dialogue on Increasing Access to Health Care for Transgender Communities” which took place from August 21 - 24, 2011 in San Francisco, organized by Open Society Foundations, Sexual Health and Rights Project (SHARP).
STP 2012 Communiqué, July 2011
Reflexiones sobre despatologización trans y derechos sanitarios
The International STP 2012 Campaign has just published its annual Communiqué.
Download PDF here (Spanish version):
STP 2012 Proposal
to the American Psychiatric Association
Propuesta de la Campaña Internacional STP 2012 dirigida a la American Psychiatric Association
En nombre de la Campaña Internacional Stop Trans Pathologization STP 2012, nos dirigimos al Grupo de Trabajo “Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders” de la American Psychiatric Association, con el objetivo de aportar propuestas para el proceso de revisión del DSM.
La Campaña STP 2012 es una iniciativa activista internacional que cuenta con la adhesión de más de 270 grupos y redes activistas procedentes de diferentes continentes. En el último Día Internacional de Acción por la Despatologización Trans, convocado por STP 2012 en Octubre de 2010, grupos activistas de 61 ciudades de Norteamérica, Europa, América Latina, Asia y África realizaron manifestaciones y otras acciones para demandar la retirada de las categorías diagnósticas de “trastornos de identidad de género” (o términos equivalentes) del DSM y CIE.
Desde la Campaña STP 2012, hemos revisado las últimas modificaciones en la sección de “Disforia de género” (antes: “Trastornos de identidad de género”), introducidas en el borrador del DSM-5 con fecha del 5 de mayo de 2011, así como en la categoría de “trastorno transvestista” (última modificación en el borrador del DSM-5: 14 de octubre de 2010).
Constatamos con preocupación que nuestra principal demanda sigue incumplida: la retirada de las categorías diagnósticas relacionadas con las expresiones, trayectorias e identidades trans del DSM.
Manifestamos nuestra preocupación por potenciales efectos iatrogénicos de una clasificación de las expresiones, trayectorias e identidades de género trans como trastorno mental, en el sentido de un fomento del riesgo de exclusión social, exposición a violencia transfóbica y repercusiones en la salud de las personas trans. Asimismo, nos preocupa la atribución de un diagnóstico de “disforia de género” en niñ*s con expresiones e identidades de género que difieren de lo que la sociedad considera preferencias, vestimentas y actividades “típicas” respecto al género asignado.
Aparte de la categoría de “disforia de género”, observamos una continuación e incluso expansión de las dinámicas de patologización de expresiones de género presentes en la anterior categoría de “fetichismo transvestista”, mediante la categoría de “trastorno transvestista” (con los subtipos de “fetichismo”, “autoginefilia” y “autoandrofilia”), propuesta en el borrador del DSM-5.
Consideramos insuficientes los cambios terminológicos, modificaciones parciales en los criterios diagnósticos y cambios estructurales introducidos en el borrador del DSM-5 mientras las categorías relacionadas con las expresiones, trayectorias e identidades trans siguen formando parte del DSM, en su carácter y función de “Manual diagnóstico y estadístico de los trastornos mentales”.
Una preocupación presente en el debate actual es la garantía de la cobertura sanitaria pública de la atención sanitaria trans-específica. La demanda de un acceso a una atención sanitaria trans-relevante de calidad y públicamente cubierta constituye uno de los objetivos principales de la Campaña Internacional STP 2012. Sin embargo, no consideramos conveniente un mantenimiento de la categoría de “disforia de género” en el futuro DSM-5 o en la sección de trastornos mentales de la CIE-11 por una supuesta utilidad para la justificación de la cobertura sanitaria pública. Aparte de los argumentos ya nombrados, consideramos que una categorización de las trayectorias e identidades trans como trastorno mental, lejos de fomentar la accesibilidad, puede convertirse en una barrera en el acceso a los tratamientos de modificación corporal trans-específicos.
En cambio, con el objetivo de facilitar una justificación de la cobertura pública de los tratamientos de modificación corporal trans-relevantes, desde STP 2012 proponemos la introducción de una mención no patologizante de la atención sanitaria trans-específica en la CIE-11, como un proceso asistencial no basado en un trastorno mental o enfermedad.
Por las razones nombradas, desde la Campaña Internacional STP 2012 pedimos a la American Psychiatric Association la retirada de las categorías de “disforia de género” y “trastorno transvestista” (o términos equivalentes) del DSM-5.
Campaña Internacional STP 2012, junio de 2011
STP 2012 at the International Conference “Naming and framing: the Construction of Sexual (In)equality”, IASSCS
From July 6-9, 2011 STP 2012 participated in the International Conference “Naming and framing: the Construction of Sexual (In)equality”, organized by IASSCS, International Association for the Study of Sexuality, Culture and Society, Complutense University, Madrid (Conference Program).
Joint NGO News Release
Historic Decision at the United Nations: Human Rights Council Passes First-Ever Resolution on Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity
(Geneva, June 17, 2011) In a groundbreaking achievement for upholding the principles of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the United Nations Human Rights Council has passed a resolution on human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity (L9/rev1).
The resolution, presented by South Africa along with Brasil and 39 additional co-sponsors from all regions of the world, was passed by a vote of 23 in favour, 19 against, and 3 abstentions. A list of how States voted is attached. In its presentation to Council, South Africa recalled the UDHR noting that “everyone is entitled to all rights and freedoms without distinction of any kind” and Brasil called on the Council to “open the long closed doors of dialogue”.
Today’s resolution is the first UN resolution ever to bring specific focus to human rights violations based on sexual orientation and gender identity, and follows a joint statement on these issues delivered at the March session of the council. It affirms the universality of human rights, and notes concern about acts of violence and discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. This commitment of the Human Rights Council sends an important signal of support to human rights defenders working on these issues, and recognizes the legitimacy of their work.
“The South African government has now offered progressive leadership, after years of troubling and inconsistent positions on the issue of sexual orientation and gender identity. Simultaneously, the government has set a standard for themselves in international spaces. We look forward to contributing to and supporting sustained progressive leadership by this government and seeing the end of the violations we face daily”. (Dawn Cavanagh, Coalition of African Lesbians)
The resolution requests the High Commissioner for Human Rights to prepare a study on violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity, and calls for a panel discussion to be held at the Human Rights Council to discuss the findings of the study in a constructive and transparent manner, and to consider appropriate follow-up.
“That we are celebrating the passage of a UN resolution about human rights violations on the basis of sexual orientation is remarkable, however the fact that gender identity is explicitly named truly makes this pivotal moment one to rejoice in,” added Justus Eisfeld, Co-Director of GATE. “The Human Rights Council has taken a step forward in history by acknowledging that both sexual and gender non-conformity make lesbian, gay, trans* and bi people among those most vulnerable and indicated decisively that states have an obligation to protect us from violence.”
"As treaty bodies, UN special procedures, and national courts have repeatedly recognized, international human rights law prohibits discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.” (Alli Jernow, International Commission of Jurists)
The resolution is consistent with other regional and national jurisprudence, and just this week, the 2011 United Nations Political Declaration on HIV and AIDS recognised the need to address the human rights of men who have sex with men, and the Organization of American States adopted by consensus a resolution condemning violence and discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity.
Earlier in this 17th session of the Human Rights Council, the UN Special Rapporteur on violence against women, its causes and consequences, Rashida Manjoo, reported to the Council that:
“[C]ontributory factors for risk of violence include individual aspects of women’s bodily attributes such as race, skin colour, intellectual and physical abilities, age, language skills and fluency, ethnic identity and sexual orientation.”
The report also detailed a number of violations committed against lesbian, bisexual and trans women, including cases of rape, attacks and murders. It is therefore regrettable that a reference to "women who face sexuality-related violence" was removed from the final version of another resolution focused on the elimination of violence against women during the same session.
"Despite this inconsistency, we trust the UN resolution on sexual orientation and gender identity will facilitate the integration of the full range of sexual rights throughout the work of the UN." (Meghan Doherty, Sexual Rights Initiative).
A powerful civil society statement was delivered at the end of the session, welcoming the resolution and affirming civil society’s commitment to continuing to engage with the United Nations with a view to ensuring that all persons are treated as free and equal in dignity and rights, including on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity.
“Now, our work is just beginning”, said Kim Vance of ARC International. “We look forward to the High Commissioner’s report and the plenary panel next March, as well as to further dialogue with, and support from, those States which did not yet feel able to support the resolution, but which share the concern of the international community at these systemic human rights abuses.”
ARC International, John Fisher (Geneva) +41 79 508 3968 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Amnesty International, Peter Splinter (Geneva) +41 (0) 22 906 9483 or Emily Gray (London) +44 (0) 20 7413 5865
CAL – Coalition of African Lesbians, Dawn Cavanagh (South Africa) + 27 11 918 6115 or email@example.com
COC Nederland, Björn van Roozendaal (Netherlands) +31 6 22 55 83 00 or BvanRoozendaal@coc.nl
Council for Global Equality, Mark Bromley (Washington) +1.202.719.0511 or Mark@globalequality.org
GATE - Global Action for Trans* Equality, Justus Eisfeld (New York) firstname.lastname@example.org, +1-646-341-1699 or Mauro Cabral (Argentina) email@example.com or +54 9 351 5589876
Heartland Alliance for Human Needs & Human Rights, Stefano Fabeni (Washington) +1 312-919-3512 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Human Rights Watch, Siphokazi Mthathi (South Africa) email@example.com or + 27 82 777 1319/ +27 11 484 2640 or Juliette De Rivero (Geneva) +41 079 640 1649 or firstname.lastname@example.org
IDAHO - International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia, Joel Bedos (France) email@example.com
IGLHRC - International Gay and Lesbian Human Rights Commission, Jessica Stern (New York) + 1 212 430 6014 or firstname.lastname@example.org
ILGA- the International Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans and Intersex Association, Renato Sabbadini, +32 474 857 950 or email@example.com
International Campaign Stop Trans Pathologization STP 2012, Amets Suess, firstname.lastname@example.org
International Commission of Jurists, Alli Jernow (Geneva) +41(0)22 979 3800) or email@example.com
International Service for Human Rights (ISHR), Bjorn Pettersson (Geneva), firstname.lastname@example.org, +41 22 919 7117
Sexual Rights Initiative, Meghan Doherty, Sexual Rights Initiative, +41 (0)78 871 6713 or email@example.com
Thailand's Sexual Diversity Network, Paisarn Likhitpreechakul +66 81 634 3450 or firstname.lastname@example.org
Transgender Europe (TGEU), Carla LaGata (Germany), email@example.com
Attachment (Records of Vote and Co-Sponsorship)
States supporting the resolution: Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Cuba, Ecuador, France, Guatemala, Hungary, Japan, Mauritius, Mexico, Norway, Poland, Republic of Korea, Slovakia, Spain, Switzerland, Ukraine, Thailand, UK, USA, Uruguay
States against the resolution: Angola, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Cameroon, Djibouti, Gabon, Ghana, Jordan, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Moldova, Russian Federation, Saudi Arabia, Senegal, Uganda.
Abstentions: Burkina Faso, China, Zambia
Absent: Kyrgyzstan, Libya (suspended)
Co-Sponsors of the resolution: Albania, Argentina, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Honduras, Iceland, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovenia, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Timor-Leste, United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland, United States of America, and Uruguay.
STP 2012 at the XXV ILGA World Conference, São Paulo
From December 4-9, 2010 STP 2012 participated in the XXV ILGA World Conference, celebrated in São Paulo, Brasil (Conference Program).
Press Release of the Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities, December 1, 2010:
English Version of Best Practices Guide for Trans Health Care Published
In October 2010, the Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities published a document designed to promote non-pathologizing health care policies. This week the English translation of the Best Practices Guide has been launched. This effort is part of the international campaign "Stop Trans Pathologization" (STP 2012) that on Saturday October 23, 2010 celebrated demonstrations and activities in 61 cities around the world.
A best-practice guide for trans persons' health care was published on October 17, 2010 by the Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities with the aim of proposing a new model of trans health care. The guide sets forth proposals that guarantee an individual's right of decision-making over his or her own body within a context of counseling and informed consent, thereby substituting an empowering model for the current judgmental one.
The guide, developed by trans activists and researchers, discusses the principal criticisms of the present health care model and proposes alternative concepts for the implementation of a non-pathologizing trans health model.
Although initially developed for the Spanish health care context, the guide has been received with great interest by the international trans community, professional associations and human right organizations. This week the English translation of the guide has been published.
The publication of the guide in October 2010 forms part of the International STP 2012 Campaign that since 2007 calls each October for mobilizations in order to demand the removal of Gender Identity Disorder as a mental illness from the international diagnosis manuals. Last Saturday October 23 represented a new milestone for the international trans movement, because there were simultaneous demonstrations and activities in 61 different cities throughout the world.
In releasing this Best-Practices Guide, the Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities wishes to put out on the table principles and concrete proposals to promote a health care model for trans people that is based on a non-pathologizing viewpoint.
The Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities invites the trans activist groups all over the world to widely publicize and distribute this document, to discuss it in their communities, and to adapt it to the needs and priorities of their specific context.
To Download the Document:
English Version: Best Practices Guide to Trans Health Care in the National Health Care System: http://www.stp2012.info/guia/STP_guide_health.pdf
Spanish Version: Guía de Buenas Prácticas para la Atención Sanitaria a Personas Trans en el marco del Sistema Nacional de Salud: http://stp2012.info/guia/STP-propuesta-sanidad.pdf
For more information:
WEB STP-2012 INTERNATIONAL: www.stp2012.info
BLOG STP-2012 SPAIN: http://stp2012.wordpress.com
STP 2012 at the International Trans Remembrance Conference, Ankara
Foto: Pembe Hayat
From November 22-28, 2010 STP 2012 participated in the International Trans Remembrance Conference in Ankara, Turkey, organized by Pembe Hayat (Pink Life Association).
Press release of the Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities, October 17, 2010:
The Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities Proposes a New Health Care Model
The Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities has developed a document designed to promote non-pathologizing health care policies. This effort is part of the international campaign "Stop Trans Pathologization" (STP2012) that next Saturday October 23 will mount an unprecedented series of demonstrations and activities in 57 cities around the world.
A best-practice guide for trans persons' health care was released by the Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities with the aim of abolishing the required psychiatric treatment to which trans persons are subjected. The guide sets forth proposals that guarantee an individual's right of decision-making over his or her own body within a context of counseling and informed consent, thereby substituting an empowering model for the current judgmental one.
The guide, developed by trans activists and researchers, discusses the principal criticisms of the present health care model and proposes alternative concepts in order to implement a non-pathologizing trans health model within the national health care system.
"It is not a disorder for individuals to embody diverse gender identities; instead, the true disorder is contemporary society's transphobia. We demand that trans people have the right of access to quality publicly-covered health care without being subjected to a process of psychiatric diagnosis and evaluation," explained Alira Araneta, one of the spokespersons of the Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities, and who participated in the creation of the alternative guide for trans persons' health care presented this past Sunday.
The publication of the new document coincides with "Trans October" that the International Trans Depathologization Network has staged annually since 2007 in order to demand the removal of Gender Identity Disorder as a mental illness from the international psychiatric manuals. Next Saturday October 23 represents a new milestone for the international trans movement, because there will be simultaneous demonstrations and activities in 57 different cities throughout the world, 18 of them just in Spain.
"In place of a paradigm that views trans identities as pathological, we propose that gender diversity be recognized as a fundamental and basic human value. We are fighting for this concept to spread throughout our societies and for it to be reflected in concrete changes in the legal and health systems," added Aimar Suess, also one of the campaign's spokespersons.
The Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities calls again upon the Spanish government to amend the existing law 3/2007, known as the "Gender Identity Law," in order to provide for legal recognition of name and gender changes without the need for medical diagnosis and treatment. Furthermore, the network proposes doing away with sex/gender indicators on official public identification documents on the basis that this data set is obsolete and its removal will make trans people's daily lives considerably easier.
Progress Toward Trans Depathologization in Spain
The year 2007 marked the beginning of an international mobilization coordinated by trans activists from Madrid, Barcelona and Paris. Since that time, demonstrations have been held every October by the trans depathologization network in cities all over the world.
The actions undertaken by the Trans Depathologization Network resulted this year in the Spanish government's announcement of support for our demands. However, the government's support for action by the World Health Organization to eliminate transsexuality from its list of illnesses has not yet been accompanied by movement to modify the so-called "Gender Identity Law," which still mandates a diagnosis of gender identity dysphoria and medical treatment for two years before a change of name and gender is allowed.
For its part, the Spanish Secretary of Health and Social Policy recently established a working group to develop a health care protocol for trans persons. At that time, the Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities requested that the Secretary consider including the trans movement as a participant in the creation of trans-relevant public health policies as well as including representatives of the depathologization network on the working group developing the health care protocol for trans persons.
"We state this directly and clearly: we are the ones who initiated the local and international trans depathologization struggle, and as an activist network with specialized knowledge of trans health policy issues, we have every right to take part in the creation of a health care protocol for trans people," emphasized Miguel Missé, another trans activist and spokesperson of the trans depathologization campaign.
Among the most important public demonstrations taking place in Spain are those that will pass through Madrid and Barcelona on Saturday afternoon, the 23rd of October, starting from Plaza Jacinto Benavente and Plaza Universitat, respectively. The Madrid procession will leave the plaza at 7:30 pm, the Barcelona one at 6 pm.
For more information:
BLOG STP2012--SPAIN: http://stp2012.wordpress.com
Communiqué of the Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities, October 17, 2010:
Toward a New Health Care Model for Trans Persons
Today, Sunday the 17th of October of 2010, we are publicizing a Best-Practices Guide for Trans Persons' Health Care within the framework of the Spanish national health system, created by the Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities.
This new proposal represents a health care model for trans persons that replaces the present system of psychiatric evaluation of people's gender identity with a process that grants the trans individuals decision-making over their bodies within a context of information provision, counseling and informed consent.
The Guide has been created by trans researchers and activists and is based on the viewpoints and experiences of the trans communities that are fighting for depathologization. Our objective is to provide a working draft to initiate discussion toward developing a non-pathologizing trans health care model as well as recognition of the wide variety of trans identities and life decisions.
The release of this document coincides with the annual observances of the STP2012 campaign organized by the International Trans Depathologization Network, which next Saturday October 23rd will involve demonstrations and other events in 57 cities around the world in order to demand the removal of Gender Identity Disorders from the international mental health manuals.
In May of this year, the Spanish government stated its commitment to request that the World Health Organization remove transsexuality from the International Classification of Diseases. And in recent months, the Spanish Secretary of Health and Social Policy has initiated a process to develop a new health care protocol for trans persons.
The Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities wishes to express our appreciation for these actions, while at the same time continuing to point out the importance of backing the actions up with concrete improvements in the process of providing health care to trans persons.
As an organization of activists with specialized knowledge in the subject matter, we also insist on our inclusion in the process of developing trans-specific health care policies, and to specifically participate in the work group formed by the Spanish Ministry of Health and Social Policy in order to develop a new health care protocol for trans people.
We further reiterate the right of trans people to have access to quality publicly-covered health care, without being subjected to a process of psychiatric evaluation.
We are also fighting for real change in the practices of the so-called "Gender Identity Disorder Clinics."
We further demand the inclusion of trans-specific health care in the services offered by the national health care system, in order to guarantee fully equal health care access for all people in Spain.
In releasing this Best-Practices Guide, we wish to put out on the table principles and concrete proposals to promote a health care model for trans people that is based on a non-pathologizing viewpoint.
We invite everyone to widely publicize and distribute this document.
The Spanish Network for Depathologization of Trans Identities
To Download the Document:
Best-Practices Guide for Trans Persons' Health Care Within the National Health Care System: http://stp2012.info/guia/STP-propuesta-sanidad.pdf
For More Information:
BLOG STP2012--ESTADO ESPAÑOL: http://stp2012.wordpress.com
3rd TGEU European Transgender Council in Malmö
STP 2012 has been present in the 3rd European Transgender Council, organized by Transgender Europe (TGEU) in Malmö, Sweden, from September 30th to October 3rd 2010 (for more information about the programme: click here).
The International Network for Trans Depathologization condemns the transphobic and racist violence in physical, verbal and institutional form that trans activists from Turkey have experienced during their stay in Malmö. We send them all our support.
To read the declaration which was approved by the participants of the Council and supported by various international activist networks, amongst them the International Network for Trans Depathologization: click here).
STP-2010 in the European Parliament
On September 1, 2010, the International Campaign STP-2010 will be present at the Conference (Trans)Gender Equality? hosted by Marije Cornelissen (Greens/EFA) y co-organised by Eva-Britt Svensson (GUE/NGL), Britta Thomsen (S&D), Antonyia Parvanova (ALDE) and the Intergroup on LGBT Rights. The Conference will take place in the European Parliament, Brussels.
More information: http://www.greens-efa.org/cms/default/dok/347/347511.htm
The Network for Trans Depathologization requires the withdrawal of the Pink Triangle Trans Year Award to the Gender Identity Disorder Unit in Madrid.
For a change of care model
in the "Units of Gender Identity Disorders"
From the Network for Trans Depathologization, we receive with indignation the news that COGAM awarded the "Pink Triangle Trans Year Award" to the "Gender Identity Disorders Unit" (UTIG) in Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid. We consider that giving such a recognition to a medical team working in the framework of protocols of pathologization, that issues certificates of "disorders of gender identity" without a critical position, is a very serious thing.
We see a clear contradiction between this positive assessment and the current status of both the Madrid UTIG and other specialized units in the process of gender reassignment in the Spanish context. Even today, these units have not ever expressed their disagreement with the fact that transsexuality is listed as a mental disorder. We regret that the association COGAM, Spanish LGBT association, give the "Pink Triangle Year Trans Award” to the UTIG of the Ramón y Cajal Hospital in Madrid and is not able to recognize the importance of Spanish trans activism. One of the main requirements of trans activism in the world is that the medical community to stop talking on behalf of trans people, and to stop regarding transsexualism as a disease. It therefore is very alarming symbolically that this award is granted to a medical team, which does not question the pathologization of transsexualism.
At a time when the Spanish government has pledged to ask the World Health Organization the removal of transsexualism from the International Classification of Diseases, in the "Units of Gender Identity Disorders" access to hormonal treatments and surgical gender reassignment still depends on a diagnosis with psychiatric terminology. The person who comes to the UTIG is exposed to an external evaluation with no certainty about the duration of the process, and with a gender control by some professionals of this unit, which can greatly hinder a respectful relationship with the user. The evaluation function of the Mental Health Professional may hinder the expression of any doubts and questions about treatment. We note that the current tripartite health care therapy model protocol does not capture the diversity of paths and priorities for treatment of trans people, in addition to further reinforcing diagnostic criteria based on outdated gender stereotypes in today's society.
For these reasons, we ask that the "Pink Triangle Trans Year Award” to the Madrid UTIG is immediately removed, and we also raise the need for an urgent care reform model adopted in the UTIG which should include but not be limited to a change of name. In this regard, we demand:
• A model of care that does not consider transsexualism a mental disorder or pathology, but that is based on the recognition of gender identity and right to decide over our own bodies.
• Not following the current diagnostic criteria of "gender identity disorder" set by the DSM-IV and ICD-10.
• The free access to hormonal therapies and surgical gender reassignment, through shared decision-making process and informed consent.
• A personalized service that recognizes the diversity of gender identities and priorities for treatment of trans people.
• The replacement of the evaluation function of the professional role of information and support in the treatment process.
• The availability of an advisory service, not mandatory.
• The trans movement's participation in the development of clinical protocols and management of trans-specific care.
Trans Depathologization Network, June 25, 2010
Contact us at:
Video: International Demonstration of Trans-Intersex Struggle - Barcelona - June 5th
Press release: International Demonstration of Trans-Intersex Struggle
Barcelona hosted this Saturday the biggest demonstration of the history against trans pathologization.
Today, Saturday, June 5th, more than a thousand trans activists from the five continents have demonstrated in Barcelona to demand the withdrawal of transsexuality in the diseases manuals.
Within the framework of the first Congress of Gender Identity and Human Rights which took place this week in Barcelona, today has taken place a public demonstration in the streets of Barcelona, convened by the International Network for Trans Depathologization to demand the withdrawal of transsexuality of the manuals for diseases classification.
The demonstration is part of the STP 2012 campaign that struggles to achieve that the World Health Organization (WHO) and the American Psychiatric Association (APA) do not continue regarding transsexuality as a disease. As well, they demand that the Spanish Government eliminates the "gender dysphoria" diagnosis and medical treatment of, at least, two years as requirements for access to the change of name and reference to legal sex, regulated in the Spanish Gender Identity Law passed on 2007.
The international campaign for trans depathologization, Stop Trans Pathologization, has had a high impact on the agenda of the lesbians, gays, transsexuals and bisexuals movement, achieving demonstrations in more than 40 cities around the world on October last year.
The event was attended by more than a thousand activists from five continents and developed in a highly participatory and culturally diverse environment. It concluded in Plaça de Sant Jaume with a performance and the reading of a manifesto for human rights of trans people, the denunciation of transphobia and the demand of depathologization of transsexuality.
International Network for Trans Depathologization
International Demonstration of Trans-Intersex Struggle
Coming from various places around the world, far away locations or from the Barcelona districts, having crossed oceans, bridges, and roads, we are bodies on a fighting attitude. We are Trans people fighting to defend courageously our identities, our diversity, our wealth, hightening our voice without fear, without doubts, always untired. Trans in struggle defending our own right to our body, condemning the structural, symbolic, social and direct violence.
Trans and Intersex activists from all over the world come out on the street to report the persecution our collectives live, the brutality and impunity against murder and rapes we are living and the control we are subjugated to. We report transphobia in the street but also the distinct kind that takes place in psychiatric consulting over the pathologization of our identities, over the unfair dismissals, social exclusion, undecent sights, on speeches that treat us as victims and on the scars in our minds.
Once again, under the motto STOP TRANS PATHOLOGIZATION which last October moved more than 40 cities all around the world, we claim that Transexuality is not a disease, psychiatric nor organic. It is deplorable that still today the gender expressions that do not fit in the Sex Binary man-woman are still being pathologized. We, the Intersex and Transexual people, don't have any mental disorder.
What is the meaning to punish people who do not have a normative gender expression?
When male bodies need to have a masculine attitude and female bodies a femenine one, the perverse dogma attempts against freedom of the people. Femeninity and Masculinity are not natural processes, but learnt languages and codes. The biologi based speech over gender is the one that boosts violence against Trans and Intersex persons, against all which do not fit the Binary of man-woman category.
Many of our questions are still unanswered.
How many more mates do we have to bury for any government to decide to entail on the defense of Trans people?
Why is our voice not taken into account? Why do they keep talking for us?
Why do they lie saying they are going to change gender indetity disorder with the new "Gender Incongruity? What incongruity are they talking about? Who are the really incongruent ones?
Next 2013 the new revised version of the DSM, the International Disease Classification of the American Psychiatry Association (APA), a reference guide to politicians and medical community all over the world. That is the reason why we come out on the streets again, against the clock, with power and energy. Because we are not going to surrender, because we are not going to allow that we keep on being pathologized in the next disease catalogues. Because we believe firmly that our bodies are ours and we have the right to modify them and live them.
We will fight with rage for our dreams, from the margins to the center of the System. We are going to Trans-form reality, all together, with words, with ideas, with images. To create a world where we can live freely with our identities, fixing the attention not only on modifying our bodies, but also on modifying our minds, and yours. To invite the views from outside of our community to change direction and to question their own stereotyped thoughts. We fight in order for our pleasures and desires to not die on the operating room. We want to erradicate the transphobia that places us into the abnormal, into what some people call Gender Incongruity and takes us into psychiatric units and programs of social rehabilitation, and without any doubt to visibilize the beauty of our bodies.
In order to have abnormal bodies, normal ones must exist. The fact of treating Transexuality as a disease is a very serious discrimination that cannot be justified anymore in any way. It is not anymore about the excuse of our treatments coverage; we have the right to those without being treated as mentally ill persons; if we modify our bodies is because Society punishes any corporal and identity diversity.
We demand to public Administration and International Medical Institutions they take a clear and urgent position against Trans identities' pathologization and work in order to erradicate this Binary oppressive models.
Here we are once again, the Trans Resistance in the streets of Barcelona, with our bodies in continuous construction, our identities on the run and our transfrontier genders. Once again, standing against the power nof psychiatry that colonizes our bodies, to all this violence that wants to destroy us, to the exclusion that marginates us, standing strongly against silence.
STOP TRANS PATHOLOGIZATION
Spot: International Demonstration of Trans-Intersex Struggle
STOP TRANS PATHOLOGIZATION
International Demonstration of Trans-Intersex Struggle
Saturday June 5th, 2010 at 19h
Saturday June 5th, 2010 at 19h
Place: Pl. Universitat Metro (Underground) L1 y L2- Barcelona (Spain)
Organize: International Trans Depathologization Network"
Convoca: Trans-Block, Xarxa d’Acció Trans-Intersex de BCN
More info: www.stp2012.info
This June the city of Barcelona will host diverse events of special relevance to trans people on a worldwide basis.
On June 2nd at 20h in the Espai Francesca Bonnemaison, c/Sant Pere més Baix, 7. (Barcelona) there will be the official presentation of the first spanish book about trans depathologization entitled "El género desordenado: Críticas en torno a la patologización de la transexualidad". edited by Miquel Missé and Gerard Coll-Planas and published by EGALES. (more information at www.elgenerodesordenado.wordpress.com)
On June 4th and 5th the International Congress on Gender Identity and Human Rights will take place in the city (more info: www.congenid.org).
On Saturday June 5 at 19h there will be an international march of transgender and intersex visibility organized by the International Network for Trans Depathologization with the slogan STOP TRANS PATHOLOGIZATION (www.stp2012.info)
We hope to see everyone in the streets, once again, The Trans Resistance!
Communiqué from the International Network for Trans Depathologization
Since the Stop Trans Pathologization-2012 mobilizations last October 17th in more than 40 cities around the world different things have happened that place new elements in the framework of the struggle for the depathologization of trans identities.
This notice is a reflexion about the actual situation of the movement for the depathologization and a brief analysis of five elements relevant which that modify the global picture of the movement.
The main objective of this network and of its main campaign STP-2012 has been to create a vast social mobilization to condemn the fact that transsexuality is considered a mental disorder in the international disease manuals. This first objective that before seemed very out of reach has been achieved and the struggle for trans identities’ depathologization is an essential issue on the agendas of GLTB but above trans and is also an matter acknowledged by international human rights agencies, public administrations, social researchers, doctors and psychiatrists.
At present, our objectives go further than denouncing this reality. It’s about accomplishing real change in these manuals protecting the healthcare rights of transpeoples. On one hand we should put an end to the idea that trans identity is in itself pathological and on the other acknowledge that transpeoples’ body modifications are valid demands fruit of a binary social system. In this sense, while demanding the depathologization of transsexuality, we consider relevant to ensure that transpeoples can modify their bodies without the need of a psychiatric diagnosis or of any other organic pathology.
As we have pointed out before, there are five new elements which provide interesting changes in the struggle for trans depathologization.
In the first place, the delays of the publication date for the next DSM-V. At first the American Psychiatric Association (APA) communicated that the fifth version of the DSM would appear in March 2012. A few weeks ago they modified that date and publication is actually set for 2013. Some critical voices point out that this delay is due to the numerous critiques during the revision process of the manual. This is a positive sign that mobilizations against the new disorders in the DSM in general begin to gain importance in the revision of the manual. Even though the date has changed, for the moment the campaign’s slogan will continue as STP-2012.
In the second place, last January 18th 2010, during the Cuban Multidisciplinary Society for the Study of Sexuality’s (SOCUMES), V Congress for Education, Orientation and Sexual Therapy a declaration was imparted for trans depathologization. This position, asides from putting on the table the international relevance of this debate is an essential reference of support for the struggle for trans depathologization.
In the third place, last February 10th 2010 the APA published the DSM-V draft, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. Before first of all, we would like to highlight that STP-2012s’ main demand has still not been accomplished; the removal of the identities and expressions of the trans gender in the DSM. We consider that the modifications of terminology incorporated into the draft, which seems to want to gather and capture with its language a critical activist discourse does not represent a fundamental change, but a continuation and an expansion of a deeply pathologizing model.
Concretely we denounce the ever so important role that the psychiatrists Kenneth Zucker (director of the DSM-V workgroup on sexual disorders) and Ray Blanchard, professionals who have advocated for “corrective” therapies for transpeoples, and from the beginning, as has occurred with the draft for the DSM-V, had the firm purpose of pathologizing transpeoples even more.
Furthermore, we would like to point out the intrinsic relationship between the concept of “gender incongruence” and the current binary system which perceives transitional processes as pathological in themselves. According to the subjacent logic the DSM-V draft, “gender incongruence” ceases when the transiting person adopts a stable gender. In this sense, the “way out” of the diagnosis is equivalent to a return to the established gender system.
We are observing with preoccupation the continuous pathologization of the identities and non-normative gender expressions in children, as well as the expansion of the patholizing criteria in adolescents and adults to a wide range of transgender identities and expressions (now not only limited to transpeoples who wish hormonal and or surgical medical treatment). The ever so vast extent which covers the term “gender incongruence” could mean that any trace of femininity in men and masculinity in women could be motive of a mental disorder.
Intersex peoples are also included in the “gender incongruence” denominator. For this, we support the communiqué written by the International Intersexual Organization (OII), being that an intersex newborn is assigned a gender, by means of radical medical protocols and surgeries, without their consent, when they want to exercise their own option of assignation; it is unacceptable that this be considered a “gender incongruence” psychological disorder.
In the same draft, the “Transvestia Disorder”, broadens enormously its range of medical diagnosis of mental illness to everyone that is legally male. Transwomen could also fall into, as well as “gender incongruence”, this pathologizing category. This does not occur with women who cross-dress as men, highlighting the sexist ideology of gender, which prevails behind it’s reasoning. In this sense, we support point by point the petition for the removal of this disorder realized by the International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE), and we propose that you vote their proposal “TELL THE APA: “CROSSDRESSING IS NOT A DISORDER! Drop 302.3 from the DSM” http:/dsm.ifge.org/petition/.
We consider that the presence of the mentioned categories in the DSM-V reinforce a pathologizing model, in which the “problem” is placed upon the person who wishes to modify assigned gender, and not in the transphobia existent in actual society, encouraging the same through the creation of pathologizing references.
In the fourth place, we would like to point out that the French ministry of healthcare published last February 2010 a decree that transferred trans identity classifying it as ALD (chronic illness), a system that permits citizen healthcare coverage to transpeoples. In fact, transpeoples pass from this decree to an ALD 23 (chronic psychiatric illness) to an ALD 31 (chronic not listed illness). This decree does not go the way of trans identity de pathologization since in practice nothing changes for transpeople who are still considered ill and must be submitted to psychiatric monitoring.
Finally, we recall last minute news: the Spanish government, through a question directed to the congress of deputies, shares the necessity to depathologize transsexuality as a mental disorder. Because of this, and believing that this statement could be a giant step forward, we think that if the Spanish government truly understands the importance of decataloguing transsexuality from the international illness manuals, it should then revise it’s own Law of 3/15/2007, law which regulates the rectification on registries of references to people's sex which regulates the changes of name and sex of transpeoples on their official documentation. This law establishes as an obligatory requirement to realize these changes the accreditation of a “Gender Identity Disorder” diagnostic certificate, contributing in this manner the pathologization of trans identities.
At the same time, the proposal for depathologizing transsexuality as a mental disorder should be accompanied by a revision of the clinical protocols of the gender reassignment processes, allowing the substitution of the actual regimen of authorization for a model that permits an autonomous and informed decision by the interested party. In line with recent human rights declarations, highlighting that the incorporation of the process for gender reassignment in public healthcare assistance constitutes a basic healthcare right that does not require a psychiatric diagnosis.
Keeping in mind the described points, we would like to highlight that our main demand is still the withdrawal of the pathologizing classifications of trans identities and expressions from the international diagnostic catalogues. Furthermore we demand the free access, without the need of psychiatric diagnosis or the classification of biological illness, to the processes of body modification for the people who require it, under the guaranteed public healthcare coverage of said interventions.
We recall, therefore that the networks’ five objectives are still in force:
1- The removal of GID from the international diagnosis manuals (their next versions DSM-V and ICD-11)
2- The removal of sex references from official documents
3- The abolition of the binary normalization treatments to intersex people
4- Free access to hormonal treatments and surgery (without the psychiatric monitoring)
5- The fight against transphobia: working for education, social and labour insertion for trans people
We take advantage of this notice to announce the next campaign mobilizations where we hope to meet and other relevant news.
- After a much hard work, the activist from Madrid (Spanish state) have elaborated a new web www.stp2012.info
- You are invited to participate until 20th of April in application “Make a suggestion” contributing with your proposals for modifications of the DSM-V draft: www.dsm5.org/ProposedRevisions/Pages/SexualandGenderIdentityDisorders.aspx
- Next June the first Spanish language book about trans depathologization will be published in Spain: El género desordenado: Críticas en torno a la patologización de la transexualidad by Gerard Coll-Planes and Miquel Missé (editors)
- The International March for Depathologization of Transsexuality: Next June Barcelona hosts the international congress on Gender identity and Human rights. The STP-2012 campaign will take advantage of this encounter for an international mobilization in Barcelona. The date for this mobilization is set for Saturday June 5th 2010.
- The date for the next simultaneous mobilization in various cities will be October 23 2010.
The International Network for Trans Depathologization, April 2010
Press Release from the State-wide Trans Identities’ Depathologization Network
“The Spanish government shares the need to depathologize transsexuality as a mental disorder”
March 15th 2010 the Spanish Congress of Deputies answered the question posed by the deputy Joan Herrera from the Parliamentary Group ERC-IU-ICV. The question was on the Government's view regarding the cataloguing of transsexuality as a mental disorder. The government's answer seems clear: “The Spanish government shares the need to depathologize transsexuality as a mental disorder.”
We from the State-wide Trans Identities’ Depathologization Network value this statement as a step forward in this positioning.
At the same time, we believe that if the Spanish government truly understands the importance of the retiring transsexuality from the international manuals for disease, it should then revise its own law, the 3/15/2007 law which regulates the rectification on registries of references to people's sex which regulates the changes of name and sex of transpeoples on their official documentation. This law establishes as a requirement to realize these changes the accreditation of a diagnostic certificate of “Gender Identity Disorder”, contributing in this manner the pathologization of trans identities.
In the last few months a strong movement has generated in the Spanish state and worldwide where we transpeoples have demanded the depathologization of transsexuality. Last October more than 40 cities worldwide, 15 from the Spanish state, mobilized around the same motto: STOP TRANS PATHOLOGIZATION-2012. From 2007 to today new discourses have arisen in relation to trans matters and we understand that this change in the government's view has to do with the visibility of these demands.
The activists and groups from the State-wide Network Trans Identities’ Depathologization understand the importance of this position. Therefore, we urge the government to assume in practice in a coherent manner this positioning, so that it can have a real impact in the daily lives of transpeoples. If the government understands that we do not have a mental disorder, it is then contradictory to demand a diagnostic to recognize us as citizens.
State-wide Trans Identities’ Depathologization Network
International Network for Trans Depathologization: Action Day October 17th 2009 – STP 2012 Campaign
On Saturday, October 17th 2009, demonstrations and other actions will take place in 38 cities in Europe, Latin America, North America and Asia, to support the campaign Stop Trans Pathologization STP 2012, which was initiated by the International Network for Trans Depathologization. To date (date of information: 15/10/2009), 181 groups from 40 countries in different world regions and 7 international networks declared their support of the campaign.
The principal demand of the campaign is the removal of Gender Identity Disorders from the international diagnostic catalogues (DSM-IV y ICD-10). We consider that the classification of transsexuality as mental disorder fosters the risk of transphobia and social exclusion of trans persons all over the world. The necessity of compulsory diagnosis, hormonal and surgical modifications which is present in many of the existent laws, attacks the human rights regarding body integrity and free expression of gender identities, rights which are named in recent international declarations like the Yogyakarta Principles (2007) or the recommendations of the Commissioner of Human Rights of the Council of Europe Thomas Hammarberg (2009). In this sense, we consider the depathologization of transsexuality as a first indispensable step for a full recognition of trans persons’ human rights.
At the same time, the International Network for Trans Depathologization is aware of the importance of guaranteeing trans persons health rights. Therefore, within its objectives the demand of free access to hormonal and surgical interventions without the necessity of psychiatric authorization for those persons, who wish to use them as well as its coverage by Public Health Systems is included. To guarantee these health rights, the International Network for Trans Depathologization supports a non-pathologizing mention in the ICD as long as this mention does not signify a reclassification of transsexuality as a mental, organic or neurological disease. The justification of trans persons’ health rights should not be based on a pathologizing definition of trans identities, but take into account the characteristics of a highly binary society in which the experience of transphobia and social pressure can lead to the need of corporal modification. We question the current binary gender order in the actual society, in which a man with scars continues to be more accepted than a man with breasts.
In this sense, we demand medical treatment as a free option for trans people, without the need of compulsory psychiatric diagnosis, hormonal or surgical interventions in order to realize a change in the name or sex register.
Like the years before, this year on Octubre 17th 2009 we will demonstrate for the depathologization of transsexuality, making a call to all governments, international bodies and the general society to support the demand of the removal of the Gender Identity Disorders of the DSM-IV or ICD-10.
We also would like to thank all the groups, networks and individual persons which are supporting the STP 2012 campaign.
Stop Trans Pathologization!
International Network for Trans Depathologization