Human Rights Campaign Joins Call for Reform of American Psychiatric Association's Review of Gender I

by HRC Staff

Process should include more diverse views, statement denouncing misuse.

Washington -- The Human Rights Campaign, the nation's largest lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender civil rights organization, today issued a statement supporting the efforts of the transgender community and their allies who are calling for the reform of gender identity related diagnoses in the American Psychiatric Association's Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).

Tonight at the American Psychiatric Association's (APA) annual meeting in San Francisco, GID Reform Now, a coalition of transgender and allied leaders, will lead a protest calling attention to grave concerns about the direction of the APA Work Group on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders, the group responsible for recommending changes to the DSM.

Statement by Human Rights Campaign President Joe Solmonese:

"In 1973 the APA wisely voted to remove homosexuality from the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. The result was a very real decrease in bias and prejudice faced by lesbian, gay, and bisexual people in our society. Today, America's psychiatric professionals are considering changing the way diversity of gender identity and expression are classified in this important document. This work has far-reaching implications not only for the health and well-being of transgender people, but for the civil rights of the transgender community and of all people.

As GID reform advocate Dr. Kelley Winters states so poignantly, 'Difference is not disease, nonconformity is not pathology, and uniqueness is not illness.' Much of the distress that many transgender and other gender non-conforming people feel comes not from within, but from outside - from the prejudice that is directed against them by people who don't understand them or don't want to. The APA can help heal these social ills by carefully examining their policy and practice as the process of revising the DSM moves forward.

We join those transgender community leaders and their allies who gather at the APA meeting today in calling for (1) the expansion of the DSM V Work Group on Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders to include more diverse views from behavioral science, bioethics, and philosophy of science professionals on this important subject and (2) a published position statement from the APA affirming human gender diversity and denouncing the misuse of current diagnoses to deny civil rights to transgender and gender-variant people."

The Human Rights Campaign is America's largest civil rights organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

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