“Thanks to cis feminists, GID was never a valid case for disability, you see, cis feminists (not just white) colluded with Jesse Helms to make certain GID transness, etc were NEVER treated as medically legitimate by CMS and virtually all federal entitlement programs, eg SSI, Medicaid, etc. Damage: total. so, while it may carry some small weight in institutional settings (every lil bit matters!) it has none outside of those. as an aside, the SSI "presumptive disability" list nearly doubled in size recently. It is *well* worth review. :-) ...everything you said still matters, since local DHS still can and do vary from CMS rules to ALLOW our access. BUT they all do it by...wait for it...referencing the ICD-9 or ICD-10 for GID related conditions lmao. Slick, yes? the bad news is, this shitpile gives locals unlimited power to screw things up too, to wit: Wisconsin's total treatment ban http://www.intheiropinion.com/2011/08/articles/constitutional-law/wisconsins-ban-on-effective-treatment-for-gender-identity-disorder-is-unconstitutional/”—Thanks to voz’s brilliant twitter analysis for adding this really deep insight on the history of collusion between cis feminists with conservative legislators resulting in the Americans with Disabilities Act not covering Gender Identity Disorder. This isn’t the first time feminists and lawmakers collaborated to exclude trans health coverage but its important to remember or learn how these relationships have undermined health coverage and diminished care (see Health and Human Services’ National Center for Healthcare Technology hiring Janice Raymond to develop policies around trans healthcare).
What the fuck is all this shit about trans being a 'fad'?
It’s not a fad. I’ve never met anyone who thought it was a fad, or treated it like a fad.
It might SEEM like it’s becoming a fad because more and more people are coming out. That doesn’t mean it’s a fad; it means that there is more education and more knowledge regarding it, so more people feel comfortable expressing who they truly are because they are no longer as afraid of retribution or prejudice. Laws are being passed that make it easier to actually transition, hence people are transitioning younger and being more vocal about their gender identity.
That doesn’t make it a fad; it makes it a gender identity that is gaining more visibility and, hence, the members of that identity are being more visible.
This is the same thing that we saw when better diagnostic tools came about for identifying childhood disorders like ADHD and disorders on the autism spectrum. More children were getting diagnosed because of the increased visibility and education; that doesn’t mean it became a ‘fad’, it just means that it stopped being under-diagnosed.
In short, let’s stop assuming that just because people are more vocal about who they are, it means that they’re ‘following a trend’, because that’s not what it means at all.
“The pushback from trans people around the inclusion of GID in the DSM seems to fail to incorporate a larger assessment of why we are so afraid of "disorder" and who enjoys the benefit of avoiding stigma and pathologization. I want to think about the DSM and other medical and medicalizing tools in a way that asks what we want from them in a set of systems that takes away survival chances from the most vulnerable in our communities rather than looking to the DSM to define my own or anyone's identity”—
just can’t stop quoting Chase Strangio!
“The change in language in the DSM-V may set back decades of legal challenges brought by incarcerated transgender individuals, mostly transgender women of color without counsel, that created avenues for treatment and and gender self-determination for people in prisons, jails, detention centers and various other sites of civil commitment. Prisons and courts may argue that the case law and policies that do exist are premised on the diagnostic regime under the DSM-IV TR and that the change in language from a disorder to a condition no longer meets the requirements under the law for a "serious medical need." What may appear to be an aesthetic change may become a substantive change under legal rules that are designed to make it impossible for incarcerated transgender individuals to survive. The better (although still terrible) policies of jails and prisons regarding the treatment of transgender individuals require a diagnosis of GID to initiate all forms of affirming care. We may see the loss of important tools of resistance, hard-won by our incarcerated trans community members.”—Debating ‘Gender Identity Disorder’ and Justice for Trans People
Did you hear? GID no longer in the DSM!
Great news! Having a gender identity that doesn’t match your biological sex is no longer a mental disorder! Gender Identity Disorder was taken out of the new DSM 5! This is a huge victory for trans and cis folk alike! Now maybe we can make some headway since we now can talk about gender identity without classifying anyone with a disorder….which seems obvious but isn’t always, sadly. But yay for our victory!
Transsexualism should not be a mental illness
I strongly feel that Gender Identity Disorder should not be included in the soon to be released DSM-V (the ‘bible’ of mental health diagnosis, used by professionals worldwide. GID is included in the current volume, DSM-IV). This is because I don’t believe GID is a mental illness. I know this is probably an unpopular opinion, and I’d appreciate your responses, but first hear me out.
Mental illness by definition implies that there is something wrong with a person’s mind. That their thoughts are wrong and need fixing. This is the approach taken in diagnosing and treating almost every mental illness. A few examples:
- A person visits a psychologist because they are very depressed and are self-harming. The psychologist asks about other symptoms/thoughts the person is experiencing, and may come to a diagnosis of major depression. The person may be referred to a psychiatrist who prescribes anti-depressants, and/or may attend therapy to help work through their feelings.
- A person is admitted to hospital against their will. They are experiencing psychotic thoughts and are considered a danger to themselves and others. They may be diagnosed with schizophrenia and prescribed anti-psychotic medication to stop these thoughts.
- A person starts attending a clinic that focuses on helping people recover from eating disorders. They may be diagnosed with anorexia, and attend counselling to help them work through their feelings and develop more self confidence.
Notice how in each of the above cases, the person is not assisted in doing what the medical professionals considered altered or different behaviour? The depressed person was not shown how to self harm more effectively. The person with schizophrenia was not told that yes, there are people trying to murder you, and we should hunt them down together. The anorexic was not starved, to assist in matching their external presentation to their internal beliefs. Instead, the medical professionals treat the thoughts in order to prevent the behaviours.
Now imagine this scenario: a person visits a psychologist because despite their female body, they swear they are a man inside. If GID was approached like every other mental illness, the psychologist would look for ways to stop that person thinking they are male. These days, thank goodness, most doctors will not do this. They will obviously want to talk with the person, to make sure the person is serious and knows the risk factors. But if they are confident in the person’s decision, they will prescribe hormones, or write approval letters for surgery.
GID is not treated like any other mental illness. A person’s belief that they are in an incorrectly-sexed body is not a ‘disturbed thought’, and continuing to list GID as a mental illness in the DSM-V is harmful to both trans people and to the wider community’s perception of such people.
However, I do not deny that there is clearly something happening with a trans person’s body that is not correct - we wouldn’t experience dysphoria if that was the case. A number of studies have shown that trans people can have markedly different brain structures to cis people, and that some of those differences can be linked to exposure to certain hormones in utero. This would lead one to believe that transsexualism could be classed as a neurological or endocrinological disorder rather than a psychological one. If this were the case, trans people would still have medical recognition of their symptoms. They would (theoretically) have a greater chance of being covered by insurance schemes for hormones and surgeries. And they would (again, theoretically) have greater protections under anti-discrimination laws depending on country of residence. The only thing we would lose is the stigma of mental illness.
I acknowledge that gender dysphoria sucks, and that hormones and surgery can go a long way to helping trans people feel better about themselves. I just wish that we weren’t considered mentally ill by the medical profession because of it.