12/31/10

Breaking the APA's chains pathologizing transsexuals for power and wealth

Our gender diversity is a natural blessing not a mental illness.

I am but a drop in a growing tsunami of trans people who have been shaken awake by a global earthquake of injustice that's epicenter is our gender. We have begun inundating cities with our conversation and protests feeding the timeless rivers of change. Our waves of activism are now flowing over dikes of bigotry spreading onto fertile plains nurturing new perceptions of the gender diverse.

We are doing this not just for ourselves today, but for our future generations to come. We are standing shoulder to shoulder, regardless of nationalities or religious beliefs universally rejecting the medical establishment's pathologization of our beautiful gender spectrum.


Since time immemorial we gender diverse have left the cradle, to travel our road less taken to become aware of the brilliance of our amazing innate gender diversity.

Tragically, we have all been sentenced to a lives of injustice, even before our conceptions. As embryos we had already been bound, stigmatized as mentally ill and forever chained to the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders(DSM) patriarchal construct of our gender spectrum.


As never before in history with the assistance of the Internet we are becoming aware, sharing activism and achieving world community empowerment.

We the worlds gender diverse are uniting to denounce the suffering resulting from complicity of the APA with parasitic pharmaceutical corporate greed , the selection of Dr. Kenneth Zucker for DSM-V revisions(GID)chair who's center damages children with reparative therapy and the dismissive arrogance that are the cornerstones of the APA DSM.


North America's upcoming revisions to the DSM will strongly influence the world's treatment of trans people. This is undeniable. At my home group TransAction ConVergence we have initiated a petition demanding the Remove Transgender people from the DSM-5 which we invite you to sign.

TransAction ConVergence is aligned in this advocacy with Europe's Spanish led movement STP2012, the group TGEU Transgender Europe and ILGA Europe in calling for the de-pathologization by the World Health Organization(WHO) of trans identities in the forthcoming revision of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-11) . We are also aligned with the group GID Reform Advocates calling on the American Psychiatric Association to delist transsexuals from the proposed revisions in the DSM with full assurances that all necessary health provisions remains at the disposal to trans individuals.

What we want and how we want it.

We suggest a new path(PDF) for transition utilizing the the American Psychological Association (not the American Psychiatric Association) policy as a guideline for the psychiatric community's involvement. We envision transition with community support that fosters educated self determination by our gender diverse regarding elective psychotherapy and surgical process.

Currently the DSM and ICD SOC demands a lock step, gate keeping regiment inviting religious persecution and in one extreme instance a state to require forced divorce and sterilisation of trans people.

It is inhuman for the APA or the WHO to support Standards Of Care [SOC] that legitimizes forced sex changes. These are OUR BODIES and we DEMAND the right to self determination!

We demand a separation of the legal gender recognition process from the medical.

Incredibly the the APA chooses to ignore us and institute revisions in the DSM-V pseudoscience seeking to drag trans people further into the morass.

"Autogynephilia"and "autoandrophilia" are now proposed to be indicative of a "transvestic disorder".

This means that the DSM-5 could label transgender people mentally ill based on an unproven theory made by one of the members of the committee, and in spite of the fact that the theory is found highly controversial in the scientific community and outright offensive in the transgender community as there are ten incontrovertible reasons why the Transvestic Disorder Diagnosis in the DSM-5 Has Got to Go.


The free dictionary defines "Pathologize" as "A neologism for diagnosing a normal condition as pathologic , based on the assumption that it 'should' cause disease–eg, adopted children are assumed to develop dysfunction with a higher frequency than their nonadopted counterparts."

Similarly the DSM-V pathologizes gender diversity by assuming that "The disturbance causes clinically significant distress or impairment in social, occupational, or other important areas of functioning."

We contend much of the unemployment, social isolation and suicide that has become institutionalized, even expected to be synonymous of gender diversity by the "TQ" in LGBTQIA, is strongly attributable to the stigmatization of the DSM and the ICD. Trans people are sentient beings and socially responsible productive members of the community given the opportunity.

Let our people be!

Case in point. When I began transition I was warned because I am a MTF blond woman people would automatically deduct 50 IQ points and not to expect to be treated equally. This was fair warning. However, I was blessed with a body that allows me to be a fully functional member of society regardless of any perceived diminishment in my cognitive abilities.

Conversely, there are many in our community who are far more gifted intellectually and spiritually who can not have this opportunity simply because they do not meet the physical expectation of what a 'real woman' should look like. The damage from these unattainable social constructs are perpetuated and multiplied in no small part by the APA's DSM.

The DSM is bad science for the gender diverse.

Dr Frances who was chair of the DSM-IV Task Force recently came out of retirement to lambaste his former colleagues and warn us that "If the potential gains of DSM-V are extremely modest, the potential risks are great and largely unrecognized."

Dr Frances then went on to " accuse his colleagues not just of bad science but of bad faith, hubris, and blindness, of making diseases out of everyday suffering and, as a result, padding the bottom lines of drug companies."

Gender Identity Dysphoria(GID) vs Gender Incongruence(GI): A perpetuation of irrelevance by the APA.

The APA having realized its irrelevance in modern treatment of transsexuality and subsequent loss of prestige and income have proposed to change the terminology describing gender diversity. The APA proposes to substitute the much maligned word "dysphoria" meaning "a disorder of affect characterized by depression and anguish" with "Incongruence" meaning "containing disparate or discordant elements or parts."

This attempt at placate us amounts to a change in "Verbage" /ver'b*j/ A deliberate misspelling and mispronunciation of "verbiage" that assimilates it to the word "garbage". A mental disorder is a mental disorder by any name.

Our position is supported by some of the most recognized voices in Physiology.

"Gender Identity Disorder (GID)" is another culturally biased diagnosis in which any behavior" that does not fall within the rigid confines of the narrowly defined and
preferred sex roles prescribed by most modern western cultures is pathologized. Consideration of normal developmental phases, playfulness and individuality are often harmfully discounted in this restrictive application of diagnostic criteria." Ofer Zur, Ph.D.
Zur, O. and Nordmarken, N. (2010). Retrieved 1/22/2011 DSM: Diagnosing for Money and Power" Summary of the Critique of the DSM.

Want to be a part of this change? It's easy as signing our Petition if you haven't already and I'll see you on the river!

1 comment:

HHB said...

@ "Incongruence" meaning "containing disparate or discordant elements or parts."

Actually, incongurence does not mean that. Incongruence is an illiteracy, the noun is INCONGRUITY. It would help transfolk in general if they would use the term "gender incongruity" instead of "gender incongruence" as a simple correction of the lack of education of the psychologists (not psychiatrist) who came up with that term. To show up their uneducated ignorance and to not buy into this nonsense that they are somehow an incongruity.