|France to Declassify Transsexuality as a Mental Illness
||[May. 17th, 2009|07:38 am]
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On the day before the International Day Against Homophobia, French Minister of Health Roselyne Bachelot wanted to send a "strong signal" to the world about homophobia and, in particular, transsexuality. Mme. Bachelot announced today that French health services will no longer classify transsexuality as a mental illness. A spokesman for the Ministry of Health clarified the move by saying that there will remain a medical classification for transsexuality because transsexual individuals still require specialized medical care. Trans groups across the nation welcomed the move and hope that the World Health Organization (WHO) will follow France's lead. In 1996, the WHO listed transsexualism in the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD 10) as a "disorder of sexual identity." The Collective Against Homophobia hailed the the French government's move today as a milestone for transgender people, who "will no longer be stigmatized and considered by France as the mentally ill." However, some groups remain cautious, saying that symbolic gestures need to be followed by deliberate actions, specifically easing the transition process from the civil and legal perspectives. The fight against transphobia is the theme of this year's International Day Against Homophobia, which takes place annually on May 17. Vive la France!