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‘Gender Identity Disorder’ Removed From APA Mental Health Manual

By Karen Ocamb
News Editor

Gay people fought very hard to have homosexuality removed as an “abnormality” from the American Psychiatric Association’s “bible”—The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) in 1973. And now, 39 years later, GLAAD reports, the APA board of trustees approved changes on Saturday to their updated version DSM-V:

 that removed the term “Gender Identity Disorder” (GID) which has historically been used by mental health professionals to diagnose transgender individuals. Simultaneously, the term “Gender Dysphoria” will now be used to describe emotional distress over “a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender.”

Some transgender advocates see this change in the DSM-V as an important step to removing stigma against transgender people based on false stereotypes about gender identity and expression, as well as the word “disorder.” Transgender people are no longer subject to a lifelong default diagnosis of their mental health. This change follows previous statements from the APA on mental healthcare for transgender people. However, other transgender advocates note the barriers this change may create to accessing health insurance coverage for trans-related medical care, which could already be prohibitively expensive even before the change.

The Transgender Law Center has a campaign called “My Authentic Life” that raises awareness of the trans community and also hope to raise money to support the Center’s work. This is Brielle’s story: