The Pen

World Health Organization Classify’s Transgenderism as Sexual Health Instead of Mental Disorder

Protestors demonstrate during a rally against the transgender bathroom rights repeal at Thomas Paine Plaza 15 February 2017 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania ( Getty Images )

On Saturday 25 May, the health agency approved an update to its International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11), a manual used globally to diagnose diseases.

The decision to remove transgender identities from the ICD-11’s classification of mental disorders was announced by WHO in June last year.

The update has now been approved via a vote held by the World Health Assembly, the WHO’s governing body which represents the organisation’s 194 member states.

The changes to the health manual will come into effect on 1 January 2022.

The ICD-11 update has re-named “gender identity disorders” to be titled “gender incongruence”.

“Gender incongruence” is now listed under a chapter on “sexual health”, as opposed to “mental disorders”.

The WHO’s decision to no longer classify being transgender as a mental disorder has been hailed by several LGBT+ activists.

“The WHO’s removal of ‘gender identity disorder’ from its diagnostic manual will have a liberating effect on transgender people worldwide,” saidGraeme Reid LGBT+ rights director at Human Rights Watch.

“Governments should swiftly reform national medical systems and laws that require this now officially outdated diagnosis.”

Micah Grzywnowicz, co-chair of the executive board of LGBT+ advocacy group ILGA-Europesaid the update to ICD-11 “represents a monumental shift in the global health for trans and gender diverse people”.

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[Editor’s Note: This article was written by Sabrina Barr and originally published at the Independent. Title changed by P&P.]