By Sharon Gaughan
PARIS (AFP) — Transsexuality will no longer be classified in France as mental illness, according to a government decision Saturday that qualifies as “historic” by concerned organizations, on the eve of the World Day against homophobia and transphobia.
Roselyne Bachelot, Health Minister, issued a staement today that decrees the removal of transsexuality from the list of psychiatric disorders, reported a spokesman for the ministry.
So far, transsexuals have enjoyed an exemption from co-payment for medical care in the ALD23 for afflictions under classified as long-term and persistent disorders.
For the Department of Health, it is a “strong signal to the whole community ” of agreement that with the position of transsexuals that inclusion under ALD23 is stigmatizing.
This classification, derived from that of the World Health Organization (WHO), was also linked to the fact that transsexuality was on the list of diseases identified in the DSM medical manual (Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders) that guides the medical profession, just as homosexuality had for many years.
In an article published in Le Monde dated Sunday-Monday, many leaders, including First Secretary of the PS Martine Aubry, the Communist Marie-George Buffet, Green Daniel Cohn-Bendit and Nobel Prize winners Françoise Barré-Sinoussi (medicine) and Elfriede Jelinek (literature), have requested that WHO “no longer consider transsexuals as mentally disordered. ”
This is based on the WHO decision on 17 May 1990 to delete homosexuality from its list of mental illnesses; the same data was chosen for the World Day against homophobia and widely celebrated on Saturday and Sunday.
France chose the symbolism to be “the first country in the world” to “delete transidentité from the list of mental illness, commented the Committee IDAHO (International Day Against Homophobia and transphobia).
This “historic decision” is also “an explosion of hope for all trans people around the world, “said Joel Bedos, Secretary General Committee IDAHO.
The association, Homosexualités et Socialisme (HES), issued a “welcome” message that supports the “long-range” claims of the lesbian, gay, bi and trans (LGBT) in France. For UAS, it is time now to move from the concrete symbol in fighting against trans violence and discrimination.
Beyond “this declassification, it is still necessary to ensure that the transgendered are completely recognized as citizens of the front rank”,
insisted the Coordinating Inter-LGBT committee.