Transgender Is No Longer A Disorder.
Trans Folk Don't believe the headlines. Transgender is still included in The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM).
Nearly every day we see it "Transgender no longer a disorder". That headline has been repeated Ad nauseam in nearly every gay publication until even CNN http://fox8.com/2012/12/27/transgender-no-longer-a-mental-disorder/ is repeating the story, almost word for word.
I have begun to wonder if maybe the people who use our pathologization against us will begin to believe it too, if they read it enough. I'm here to say, we are still patholoigized and no they won't because unlike the trans people who want to believe things are better they want to. They know better than that . As long as we remain in the DSM we will have that chain around our collective necks.
It's a great headline for gay and mainstream media. Its sensational and it lifts the guilt tha gay and lesbians feel for sacrificing us. We weren't added until homosexuality was removed. Gay people knew there was only one way to advance there agenda and they did it.
Dysphoria. Granted there's is a slight difference in the dichotomy and if our diagnosis is focused on helping gender dysphoric individuals transition successfully, that an improvement too. But at what cost?
We remain patholigized despite massive protests in Europe and keyboard plunking in the States.
About a half of the 5,000 trans people on the https://www.facebook.com/events/131907566870401/?ref=ts&fref=ts facebook page I begun wanted our complete removal, many of them signing the petition. http://www.change.org/petitions/remove-transgender-from-the-dsm-5
Many of the remaining folks were happy with the status quo hoping one day there insurance would better cover transition. Many couldn't care less because they self medicate and when and if they opt for SRS, they just get it.
Did those of us who wanted our removal succeed? No, most likely we failed despite my best efforts at getting local people out from behind their keyboards. That was somehow my fault. Not the gay communities. We didn't take to the street at key moments and gain the spotlight as they did twenty years ago.
The December first 2012 press release from the APA announced the next bureaucratic step needed to publish the DSM-5 had been taken place by the board voting it's approval.
And the world fell over themselves to announce trans people were no longer listed as "disordered" by in the DSM.
Did I miss something in that press release?
The Message From APA President Dilip Jeste, M.D., on DSM-5 offers no specifics, only justifications and denials regarding the process.
So whats up?
The often quoted Med Page published in May following the last public meeting reports what may not up:
"Gender identity disorder. Individuals who believe their biological gender doesn't match their gender identification will no longer be labeled with a disorder. Instead, if they seek psychiatric treatment, they can be labeled with "gender dysphoria."
The workgroup responsible for dealing with the hot-button issue considered a variety of other approaches, addressed later in this article. Ultimately they settled on a formal diagnosis -- potentially qualifying a patient for insurance-paid treatment if they want it -- but with a less pejorative name than "disorder."
So the name might change but what is the difference between the two words and what does it mean to trans people? The free medical dictionary defines....
Gender Identity Disorder:
"The psychological diagnosis gender identity disorder (GID) is used to describe a male or female that feels a strong identification with the opposite sex and experiences considerable distress because of their actual sex."
"unhappiness with one's biological sex or its usual gender role, with the desire for the body and role of the opposite sex.
Not much difference between the two words is there?
Please understand, this is just conjuncture since no further official information available until the DSM-5 is published in May 2013.
But given that one D word is being substituted for another what's the end result?
We remain pathologized by the APA
Regard or treat (someone or something) as psychologically abnormal or unhealthy
Which in my opinion denies us our rightful place among the worlds well adapted productive citizens.
So try as hard as I may I failed, kind of. Who knows. I did give space to those who wanted conversation. But most importantly, those who wanted our total removal from the DSM as well.
But now its just a waiting game. The APA has what it wants, our undivided attention, our money, the guidelines to normality, acceptability and our chances at success in life.