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WHO makes sick assessments of transpeople? Philippines marches in protest

WHO makes sick assessments of transpeople? Philippines marches in protest

While Fleur Rose is asking people to sign a global petition that is urging World Health Organization to stop treating transpeople as mentally ill, Dindi Tan is getting ready for a “convergence for fun” in Manila Saturday to strengthen transgender health.

Led by the Association of Transgenders in the Philippines, GANDA Filipinas, TransMan Pilipinas and Transpinay of Antipolo, Philippines organizations campaigning for equal rights for transpeople are taking part in Stop Trans Pathologization’s (STP) international campaign seeking to pressure the American Psychiatric Association and World Health Organization amend their manuals.

In October 2012, 50 cities worldwide saw the marches take place. On 10 October this year, STP is hoping for greater participation especially with the deadlines drawing closer.

The main goals of the campaign are to have the “Gender Dysphoria” / “Gender Identity Disorders” categories removed from the diagnosis manuals of the American Psychiatric Association and the World Health Organization, as well as focus on trans health rights.

While the fifth edition of the American Psychiatric Association’s Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders was out earlier this year, World Health Organization’s is due to 2015.

STP is proposing that the manuals introduce a non-pathologizing reference to trans health care, regarding trans health care as a process not based on illness or mental disorder.

The other key demand is for the removal of medical requirements from existing gender identity laws and new gender recognition laws based on a depathologization and human rights perspective.

Started in 2007, the campaign is today supported by both organizations and individuals. STP says it is supported by over 360 activism groups, organizations and networks from Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, North America and Oceania.

“Over the past few years, the demand for trans depathologization has achieved an increasing recognition from activist networks, professional associations, governments, as well as international bodies,” STP said in an earlier press statement.

‘At the same time, transpeople continue to be exposed to situations of pathologization, psychiatrization, discrimination, social exclusion and transphobic violence.”

Besides these reasons, which have added a sense of urgency to the campaign, the prevailing economic crisis is another major consideration as it brings in new risks for a loss of citizenship rights and an increase of social inequalities.