The World Health Organization (WHO) announced earlier this week that it will no longer classify being transgender as a mental illness, instead classifying it as a sexual condition.
According to the WHO’s new edition of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD), gender incongruence is now “characterized by a marked and persistent incongruence between an individual’s experienced gender and the assigned sex.”
“It was taken out of mental health disorders because we had better understanding that this wasn’t actually a mental health condition and leaving it there was causing stigma,” the WHO’s Department of Reproductive Health and Research, Dr. Lale Say, said in a video.
“So in order to reduce the stigma while also ensuring access to necessary health interventions, this was placed to a different chapter,” Say continued.
Transgender groups praised the WHO’s removal of trans identities from the it’s tool’s mental health disorders chapter.
“This is the result of tremendous effort by trans and gender diverse activists from around the world to insist on our humanity, and I am elated that the WHO agrees that gender identity is not a mental illness,” Transgender Europe executive director Julia Ehrt said in a press release.