Human Rights Campaign Submits Official Comment on APA’s DSM Review

Human Rights Campaign, DC, USA

Addresses issues related to transgender people in American Psychiatric Association’s Review of Diagnostic and Statistical Manual.


Washington – The Human Rights Campaign, the nation’s largest lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender civil rights organization, submitted comment yesterday on the American Psychiatric Association’s (APA) proposed changes to the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, pressing the APA to do more to eliminate the stigma transgender Americans face. The public comment phase of the review process ended April 20.

“Upon reviewing the APA’s proposed revisions, it appears that they no longer consider gender identity that differs from birth sex to be a basis for psychiatric diagnosis,” said HRC Associate Director of Diversity Allyson Robinson. “By focusing instead on the experience of incongruence, an often distressing conflict between a person’s
physical characteristics and their sense of gender identity, the APA has made an important step toward the destigmatization of transgender lives.”

While affirming this shift, HRC President Joe Solmonese pressed the APA to do more. “These diagnostic categories are frequently used by opponents of equality to deny basic civil rights to transgender Americans, and in that way become a significant source of emotional distress themselves,” said Solmonese. “The APA must address this
heinous practice and do more to empower mental health professionals as they seek to heal the damage caused by stigma, bias, and prejudice.”

HRC also called in its commentary for the complete removal of “transvestic disorder,” which pathologizes male-to-female cross-dressing, from the final DSM-5 document. “The persistence of this archaic category contradicts the positive shift the APA made with gender incongruence and tacitly affirms an understanding of gender
based in sexism, not science,” said Solmonese.

The proposed changes are slated to go into effect in 2013.

The Human Rights Campaign is America’s largest civil rights
organization working to achieve lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender
equality. By inspiring and engaging all Americans, HRC strives to end
discrimination against LGBT citizens and realize a nation that
achieves fundamental fairness and equality for all.

© 2010 The Human Rights Campaign. All rights reserved

One Response to “Human Rights Campaign Submits Official Comment on APA’s DSM Review”

  1. Andrea B. Says:

    This statement from the Human Rights Campaign is bigotry masquerading as support.

    The American Psychiatric Association and the American Psychological Association both consider transsexual people to be mentally ill and make a point of listing transsexual people right beside paedophilia. That is deliberate tactic to create guilt by association. The APA is actually widening the amount of people who will be classified as insane by the APA.

    I cannot fathom why anyone wants to keep transsexualism in the DSM or ICD, yet campaigns for everything else to be removed from it.

    I do not understand those who try to claim that anything good is happening, when they know full well that the APA is trying to make the lives of transsexual people worse, not better.

    This is for everyone out there who has a stake in the revision of mental disorders and those campaigning for changes?

    Questions has to be asked of those who consider it acceptable for transsexualism to be classed as mental disorder in any form?

    Why do you hate us so much?

    What have we done to you?

    Why does everything about our existance have to be erased, brualised, mangled, sexualised and demeaned?

    Is our existance such a serious insult to you, that you have to campaign to disrciminate against us, as much as possible?

    What is the reason for your pure abject hatred of transsexual people?

    Also for the abusers of young transsexual people out there.

    Why do you oppose giving young transsexual people a puberty that is parrallel to other children and is correct for them, by consenting to and approving of refusal of hormone treatment allied to gonadrelin analogue treatment, so as to ensure a normal puberty in there target sex?

    What sort of hatred runs in the viens of people who want to accept refusal of appropiate treatment for young transsexual people?

    I wish people would have the guts to answer this honestly, instead of avoiding the subject and dressing it up in misleading language.

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