Friday, October 21, 2011

Vindication from the psychiatric world

Hallelujah!!  WPATH, the World Professional Association for Transgender Health has updated it's Standards of Care.  This is fantastic news for transgender folk!  It seems that there is a positive trend similar to that of homosexuals 30 years ago where the psychiatric community is recognizing that these folks, like their homosexual peers before them, are not nuts.  They aren't psychotic, nor are they neurotic.  In fact, the exact verbiage on p. 4 states:

“the expression of gender characteristics, including identities, that are not stereotypically associated with one’s assigned sex at birth is a common and culturally-diverse human phenomenon [that] should not be judged as inherently pathological or negative.”

Yeah, like we didn't already know that.  Sarcasm aside, this opens doors.  This is exciting news because if it's not viewed as a pathology and can be construed as a medical condition, that recognition may lead to more insurance companies covering treatment, i.e. hormones, at the least.

Additionally, the wording states that instead of therapists and psychiatrists acting as "gatekeepers" they should, rather, be in a supportive role while the patient works toward making decisions about how they want to address the mismatch between mind and body.  Granted, the really good therapists already knew that, but for those who maybe wanted to help and get into this field, now they have the "safety net" in the updated Standards of Care.  Most healthcare professionals don't like to deviate from the guidelines because that has the potential for making them more vulnerable to lawsuit.

Isn't vindication grand?  But there is much more than I have let on.  If you're a transgendered person or love someone who is, please check out the updated WPATH Standards of Care at the address below.  Somehow, seeing the vindication in black and white inspires hope in DJ, Bulldog and me.  I hope it will inspire hope in you, as well.