Target: World Health Organization
Goal: Urge the World Health Organization to remove transsexualism from their list of mental illnesses
While it may be unintentional, the World Health Organization (WHO) is contributing to the discrimination transsexual individuals face in society. According to WHO, transsexual individuals are “sick”; WHO classifies transsexual individuals as mentally ill in their current publications. Until recently, WHO also classified homosexual individuals as mentally ill, although this categorization was removed from their publications in 1990.
Despite a significant rise in supporters for homosexual rights, transsexual individuals are still facing many hardships and obstacles in society. Many of these individuals are victims of violence and hate crimes, as well as discrimination in both public and professional settings. By classifying transsexual individuals as mentally ill, WHO is contributing to the stigma these individuals face. They are still being denied some of the most basic human rights because they are not conforming to society’s expectation of their “proper” gender.
Wanting to be accepted by society does not make an individual “sick,” it makes an individual a typical human being. Transsexual individuals must constantly struggle and face criticism for a choice that makes them feel at their best. Yet they are facing discrimination for identifying with a gender they are comfortable with instead of the gender they were born with. No individual should be faced with the decision between their personal preferences and what society expects them to prefer; transsexual individuals should be granted the basic human right of being able to live comfortable lives without being condemned and scrutinized by the “norms” of society.
The World Health Organization is currently revising their publication regarding mental illnesses. If enough people reach out to them, they might reconsider their classification of transsexualism as a mental illness. Help transsexual individuals overcome some of the discrimination they face and send the message that it’s perfectly okay to be comfortable in your own body and that society should accept you and respect you regardless of what gender you identify with.
Being who you are does not make you “sick” and transsexualism should no longer be considered as a mental illness. Sign the petition below and urge the World Health Organization to stop categorizing transsexualism as a mental illness in its publications.
Dear World Health Organization,
It has come to my attention that transsexualism is still considered to be a mental illness according to your current list of mental illnesses. Categorizing transsexual individuals as mentally ill only contributes to the discrimination that these individuals already face in today’s society.
It has also come to my attention that you are currently in the process of revising your list of what is to be considered as a mental illness. It is time for a change; I urge you to remove transsexualism from your list of mental illnesses. You can help reduce the amount of discrimination that transsexuals face in today’s society by removing them from your list. These individuals are not “sick” and should not be labeled as such. Similar to the removal of homosexuality from your list of mental illnesses, it is in your power to help stop stigmatizing transsexual individuals in today’s society.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: United States Mission Geneva via Flickr