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Gay Groups Support Proposed Gender Identity Changes in DSM

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The American Psychiatric Association has published a list of proposed revisions to its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual, known as the “DSM” – one of which could have a major impact on transgender people. The APA is proposing changing what’s now known as “gender identity disorder” to “gender incongruence.” The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force supports the change. Jaime Grant is director of the group’s Policy Institute.

Grant: “I think that it is a move that many advocacy groups see as a good progression, an evolutionary step, and want to affirm that.”

Grant said the eventual goal is the complete removal from the DSM. The National Center for Transgender Equality agrees with the Task Force – adding in a statement “We are heartened that it also makes the diagnosis inapplicable to individuals who have successfully transitioned.”

Both groups say declassifying transgender people as having a “disorder” likely will not effect their ability – to have transition-related care covered by insurance.

But not all the proposed changes are positive. Grant says the APA has proposed changing the name of what’s now called “Transvestic Fetishism.”

Grant: “They’re now proposing to call it ‘transvestic disorder,’ and it basically stigmatizes and disorders male-to-female crossdressing. In fact, if you’re a female-to-male crossdresser you can’t even get this diagnosis. Only men or people who were born in male bodies can be ‘transvestically disordered.'”

Grant said there’s still a year to go before the DSM-5 is published, and she’s hopeful that advocates can get “transvestic disorder” removed before the proposed changes become final.

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Written by OutQ News staff

April 15, 2010 at 12:41 PM

Posted in Health, Transgender

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