Are We Really Out of the DSM?


  • Identifying as transgender will no longer be listed as “gender identity disorder.” The term is replaced by “gender dysphoria,” which would refer to “emotional distress over a marked incongruence between one’s experienced/expressed gender and assigned gender.” The distress is the focus, in other words, not the state of being. Many within the transgender community support this de-pathologizing, though some note it might make it harder for people who identify as transgender to receive medical services, as this article discusses.

Matt Kailey's Tranifesto

DSM5As last week went on, the headlines got curiouser and curiouser, but the general theme seemed to be “transgender is no longer in the DSM” and “being transgender is no longer a disorder” – and this was cause for a lot of celebration on Facebook and elsewhere.

But while there are some minor changes in the DSM-5 that might be cause to crack a small champagne bottle, the reality is that “transgender” never was in the DSM. Gender Identity Disorder, the official mental health diagnosis that leads some people to identify themselves as transgender or transsexual, or that leads some therapists or physicians to do so, was in the DSM (and still is, until the new version comes out next year).

And while GID is being taken out of this new edition, Gender Dysphoria is replacing it, with only some minor adjustments in diagnostic criteria. This could be considered a…

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