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The Trans Catch-22


Kate Thomas:

--- Quote ---June 12, 2006
The trans catch-22
In order to get “treated” for being transsexual—meaning hormones and, perhaps, surgery—you first have to be diagnosed. But calling trans people sick creates the same stigma gay people faced for decades. Part six in our ongoing series.

By Joanne Herman

As a transsexual woman, I have a mental disorder. Or so says the current Diagnostic and Statistics Manual of Mental Disorders, Fourth Edition (DSM IV) of the American Psychiatric Association. My diagnosis code is 302.85--Gender Identity Disorder of Adolescence or Adulthood (GID).

Gay men and lesbians used to have a mental disorder too. That was true until homosexuality was removed from the DSM in 1973. Why am I still in the big book of mental disorders 33 years after you were removed? 

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--- Quote ---Joanne Herman is the first transgender member of the boards of the Point
Foundation, a scholarship lifeline for LGBT students, and of Gay and
Lesbian Advocates and Defenders, the New England LGBT legal rights
organization that brought same-sex marriage to Massachusetts. She is
also a member of the advisory board of the National Center for
Transgender Equality.
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