TENI: Gender Identity no longer ‘a disorder of the mind’ – new WHO classification

Transgender Equality Network Ireland (TENI) has today welcomed the long-anticipated decision of the World Health Organization to delete references to gender identity disorder and related categories from its classification of mental and behavioural disorders. In the latest revision of the International Classification of Diseases*, WHO has removed outdated references toTranssexualism, Dual Role Transvestism, and Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood as constituting disorders of personality or behaviour.

The revised classification system, ICD 11*, sees new categories covering trans identities being added under conditions relating to sexual health. These include Gender Incongruence of Adolescents and Adulthood and Gender Incongruence of Childhood.

WHO describes gender incongruence as “characterized by a marked and persistent incongruence between an individual’s experienced gender and the assigned sex.”

Welcoming the announcement, TENI CEO Stephen O’Hare said:

“The decision of the WHO to remove defunct references to gender identity disorder in ICD 11 marks a turning point in the global perception of gender identity. The UN’s directing and coordinating authority on international health has finally confirmed what has long been recognised by trans and gender variant people everywhere – that being trans does not mean having a disorder of the mind.”

“While there remains significant work to fully de-pathologise the lives of trans and gender variant people, today’s announcement marks a significant, if long anticipated, step forward” he added.

The International Classification of Diseases is described as ‘the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions’. ICD 11 will be submitted for approval to the World Health Assembly in May 2019 and is expected to come into force on 1 January 2022.

*The ICD is the foundation for identifying health trends and statistics worldwide, and contains around 55,000 unique codes for injuries, diseases and causes of death. It provides a common language that allows health professionals to share health information across the globe.
ICD-11 will be presented at the World Health Assembly in May 2019 for adoption by Member States, and will come into effect on 1 January 2022.

ICD 11 is available to view here: https://icd.who.int/browse11/l-m/en

Conditions Related to Sexual Health – Gender Incongruence can be found here:


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