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Response to Proposed DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria
Apr 2010
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Sept 2008
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Petition to Remove Transvestic Disorder from the DSM-5

The International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) has posted an online petition at dsm.ifge.org/petition calling for removal of the Transvestic Disorder diagnosis (302.3) from the DSM-5. Please help put an end to this defamatory and hurtful psychiatric label by adding your name and spreading the word to your organizations, friends and contacts.

We are an interdisciplinary and international group of mental health and medical professionals, clinicians, researchers and scholars concerned about psychiatric nomenclature and diagnostic criteria for gender-variant, gender-nonconforming, transgender, and transsexual people in the Fifth Edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM-5). We call ourselves Professionals Concerned With Gender Diagnoses in the DSM. We collectively represent many years of academic study and research working with topics related to gender variance, as well as many years of clinical experience in working with people who identify and/or have experience and/or history as transgender, transsexual, and/or gender nonconforming. Many of us are trans ourselves and all of us are committed to ending the discrimination faced by trans people worldwide.

Our group was formed for the explicit purpose of offering constructive recommendations to the DSM-5 Task Force and its relevant work groups. What we offer to you here is derived from many hours of discussion and review of the existing literature to reach consensus and to offer scientifically sound recommendations.

Our underlying premise is that gender is not an immutable binary system. Instead, we understand gender to be a spectrum rather than a dichotomy and that all human beings, not just the gender nonconforming or transgender child or adult, carry within them the socially constructed attributes of both the "feminine" and the "masculine" along with characteristics that defy any such binary categorization. Gender fluidity can exist within a person at a point in time or over the course of development throughout life. We equate gender nonconformity with health, not pathology, and see the role of the mental health professional as the facilitator of an individual's unique gender authenticity, which at root can be determined only by that individual alone. We also acknowledge that there is nothing wrong with a gender identity that is firmly male or female, regardless of a person's assigned sex at birth, and regardless of whether a given individual needs to access medical treatment to actualize her or his gender identity. We call on the field of mental health to predicate their clinical practices on a theory of gender development and functioning that respects variation in human development more than the desire to create a falsely symmetrical metaphysics of gender that deems as pathological any deviations from a socially imposed gender-binary system.

We recognize that the inclusion of Gender diagnoses in the DSM is extremely controversial, and all of us have been engaged personally and professionally in the reform process of these diagnoses. The American Psychiatric Association is unlikely to remove these (or alternative gender-related) diagnoses from the DSM-5. Therefore, we have worked hard to assist in the development of the least noxious criteria that will support trans people throughout the international community in receiving medical and clinical services, should they be needed.

Current Issue: Response to Proposed DSM-5 Diagnostic Criteria --Apr 2010

The APA DSM-5 Task Force has posted draft diagnostic criteria for public review and comment through April 20, 2010. Please follow the links below or in the navigatio bar at left to review responses by this group to the proposed diagnostic categories of Gender Incongruence and Transvestic Disorder for gender variant children, adolescents and adults. You may submit comments on our statement pages and you may comment directly to the APA DSM-5 Task Force at the www.dsm5.org site through the 20th. Also, please don't forget to sign the IFGE sponsored petetion to remove the punitive and defamatory Transvestic Disorder catagory from the DSM-5, linked above.

What Medical, Mental Health, Legal and Other Supportive Professionals Can Do

We encourage medical and mental health professionals and allies to review the draft DSM language and our responses and deliver your own comments to the DSM-5 Task Force by going to the dsm5.org web site, login (create a user ID) and make comments before the April 20th deadline.

Contact Us

If you have questions, feedback or need more information, please contact us at GIDreform@gmail.com.

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