Earlier this month, the American Psychiatric Association decided to remove Gender Identity Disorder (GID) from the latest version of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual’s (DSM) list of mental disorders. GID was defined as a condition in which the person experiences dissatisfaction with the sex they were assigned at birth and with the gender stereotypes associated with that sex, often leading to dysphoria, or intense feelings of discontent.
This is welcome news, since GID is being replaced by the term “Gender Dysphoria,” which is less pathologizing since it does not signify a mental disorder or that something is “wrong” with the person who identifies as a trans man or a trans woman. Instead, the focus is placed on the distress experienced by the person undergoing the transition.
However, it is concerning that a lack of agreement with the sex one was born with, and the stereotypes that goes along with that sex, is deemed so wrong that it is considered an illness to begin with — an illness that is associated with a long history of pathologization. How many people are content with the stereotypes associated with their sex? It is troubling to see how the word stereotypes are used in the definition of gender dysphoria, since stereotypes by no means reflect reality. Instead, stereotypes are a common notion of something, often a generalization and by no means the actual truth.
Even so, we are happy for the trans men and women and their allies who have fought for these rights and changes.
Your Gender image shared by flickr user Transguyjay under a creative commons license.