Sunday, 30 August 2009

Why STP2012 doesn't feel right

Yay depathologisation? Err, no.

The fine folks at STP2012 are asking for "the despathologization of the trans identities (transexual and transgender) and their retirement from the manuals of disorders (teh DSm from the American Psychiatric Association, which’s newly revised version is due in 2012, and the CIE from the World Health Organization, due in 2014)"

Umm, count me out from the ICD (CIE) bit.

I don't identify as trans-something. Other people label me as trans (fuck I hate this identity shit. See iden-bugger-tity for a further explanation).

I do think it's not necessarily pathological to be trans, but yeah, for me having a dissonant body was pathological. And damn I'm happy my body no longer feels like it has all kinds of features not requested - I'm happy, too, that my endocrine works with me instead of against me. What I was before medical treatment was pathological. I was sick.

It just wasn't a mental pathology. It was a bodily pathology. But it was a pathology, and I cannot support a flat-out depathologisation of something that very well felt totally pathological to me. Removal from the lists of mental diagnoses? Oh yes.

Removal from the list of all diagnoses? Well, no, not in my opinion, no.

I suspect this might have something to do with the different meanings of "trans": for some it's an identity, for others it's a label - and it has these several, overlapping meanings. Say, trans as pathology is something I'd define as existing until the said person with a trans pathology has that pathology cured, whatever the method. HRT, surgery, change of lifestyle - anything. Trans as an identity I don't really get, and I'm yet to come across an explanation. Trans as a descriptor, a label for people who are not cis I do get, and in that respect I'm definitely trans. I think trans has all those meanings, and while there's nothing pathological about identifying as trans or about being trans wrt cis, I'm of the opinion that there is something pathological about some trans bodies - pathological enough that the bodies need to be fixed. I hope this could be taken into account when going for political changes. Otherwise I see public funding for treatments diminishing from the very little there is now, and even less than the practically nonexistent research into trans bodies, which I think there's a desperate need of. Public funding helps the poorest, most vulnerable, and medical research into trans bodies helps the medical treatments become safer, saner and more effective, thus helping more.

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