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9 Jun 2016

Denmark leads way in declassifying transgender as a mental illness

Sending a strong signal to the World Health Organisation, Denmark is set to become the first country to no longer define being transgender as a mental illness

Denmark will declassify “being transgender” as a mental disorder on January 1, 2017.

Danish parliamentarians say the move is meant to put pressure on the World Health Organization (WHO), which is yet to officially remove transgender from its list of mental and behavioral disorders.

In the 1993 WHO classifications, a person whose “gender identity or sexual preference is not in doubt, but...wishes it were different” is listed as a ‘Psychological and Behavioural Disorder associated with Sexual Development and Orientation’.

“At the moment, transgender is listed as a mental illness or behavioural problem,” Social Democrat health spokesman Flemming Moller Mortensen told Danish news agency Ritzau. “That is incredibly stigmatising and in no way reflects how we see transgender people in Denmark. It should be a neutral diagnosis.”

He added: "The WHO is currently working on a new system for registering diagnoses. It has been working on it for a very, very long time. Now we’ve run out of patience, and want to send out a signal saying that if the system is not changed by October, then we in Denmark will go it alone.”

Amnesty International welcomed the decision, calling Denmark a “role model for [transgender] people’s rights.”

Reader's Comments

1. 2016-06-10 03:20  
Doesn't it then cause a mental illness that could be relieved by reassignment?

It sounds like they are stigmatising mental illness (non transgender related) themselves.
2. 2016-06-10 16:02  
And once again comes a stupid comment from the most negative member of fridae.
3. 2016-06-11 03:01  
Yep. Your comment was stupid Americanbear. Not sure why you bothered.
4. 2016-06-12 16:02  
Bothered because many are tired of your negativity. If you want to hate yourself for being gay, that's your choice. Try to leave the rest of us out of it.
5. 2016-06-13 05:54  
What a weird thing to post Americanbear. I don't hate myself. I happen to be gay. It's not an issue for me. Even the fact that we are both gay and have to be labelled exactly the same in that respect (wowee! we both are attracted to the same sex!!!), it's really no deal.

Feel free to list the 'many' that see my comments as negative. Do tell them how to think.

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