Thursday 29th September 2011

Re: The World Professional Association for Transgender Health: Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender Nonconforming People, 7th version, wpath.org

In an act of breathtaking hypocrisy the World Professional Association of Transgender Health (WPATH) has released pathologizing guidelines for the treatment of intersex children and adults who reject their birth assignments.

WPATH has for many years been considering the effects of pathologizing language on the mental health of trans individuals. The diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) was considered especially unhelpful as it categorized their natural differences as a mental illness.

In an effort to move away from concepts that contributed to the problems rather than easing them WPATH has revised its Standards of Care (SOC) to include less pathologizing language and treatments that focus on medical needs rather than pathologizing and characterizing trans as a mental health problem.

With breathtaking arrogance and hypocrisy, WPATH then reclassifies intersex as people with Disorders of Sex Development (DSD) and see those of us who reject our birth assignments as being in need of the counsel of a mental health professional.

WPATH does this without the input or inclusion of a single intersex person. Indeed the WPATH membership requirements preclude being intersex as a reason for belonging to this organization.

Not only are intersex people excluded from membership of WPATH, we are pathologized without our contribution and without WPATH seeking any intersex input whatsoever.

WPATH would not formulate a Standards of Care for trans people without considerable trans inclusion and widespread trans consultation. That WPATH is prepared to do what they have done to intersex people shows the complete misunderstanding that these trans professionals have in respect of intersex and their disregard for both our rights and for our wellbeing.

Gina Wilson
President, Organisation Intersex International Australia Limited
Sydney, Australia
oii.org.au
[email protected]
+61 (0)418 290 336

Additional information

Read our submission on the SOC and DSM-5