Redefining 'Transgenderism' as Normal Behavior

In December 2012, the American Psychiatric Association (APA) announced changes to its official guide to classifying mental illnesses. Gender identity disorder had been classified for decades in their Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) as a mental disorder. The new DSM eliminated “gender identity disorder” and replaced it with a new term, “gender dysphoria.” Dysphoria is the distress a person experiences as a result of the sex and gender they were assigned at birth.

The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders is published by the APA and offers a common language and standard criteria for the classification of mental disorders. The most important aspect of the DSM is that it “serves as a universal authority for psychiatric diagnoses.” There are few parts of America the DSM doesn’t touch or influence. “It is used, or relied upon, by clinicians, researchers, psychiatric drug regulation agencies, health insurance companies, pharmaceutical companies, the legal system, and policy makers.” The publication of the DSM, with tightly guarded copyrights, now makes APA over $5 million a year, historically totaling over $100 million.

The LGBTQ community lobbied long and hard for the changes in the DSM. Their efforts were successful in that “being transgender” is no longer a “mental disorder” in the DSM. After the change, many LGBT activists felt that the new gender dysphoria diagnosis would be a powerful legal tool when challenging discrimination in health insurance plans and services. The new criteria represent “some forward progress on issues of social stigma and barriers to medical transition care, for those who need it.”

The change in the DSM also means that when gender identity disorder was diagnosed as a mental illness, corrective surgery was not warranted. The appropriate treatment for a mental disorder was therapy. With the new DSM, no longer is gender identity disorder considered a mental disorder, it is now considered a medically-correctable condition, like surgery needed to correct a physical birth defect such as cleft lip and palate.

Those who lobbied for the change in the DSM argued that “nonconformity to birth-assigned roles and victimization from societal prejudice do not constitute mental pathology.” There was more interest in changing the DSM to correct a perceived social injustice than understanding and treating a longstanding mental disorder. “The greater issue, though, may be the larger sociopolitical impact the new category will have,” wrote Dr. Dana Beyer, a public health and LGBT civil rights advocate who also served on the American Psychiatric Association's working group. Dr. Beyer wrote of their successful lobbying of the APA, in "The End of Transgender as a Mental Illness:" “Our greatest accomplishment on the Working Group was reconceptualizing the state of ‘being trans’ from a mental illness to a normal human variant.”

As a rebuke to the lobbying efforts of LGBTQ activists to change the DSM and redefine mental disorders to achieve acceptance “as a normal human variant,” Dr. Paul R. McHugh, the former psychiatrist-in-chief for Johns Hopkins Hospital reiterated that transgenderism is a “mental disorder” that merits treatment, that sex change is “biologically impossible,” and “that people who promote sexual reassignment surgery are collaborating with and promoting a mental disorder.”

“The assumption that one’s gender is only in the mind regardless of anatomical reality, has led some transgendered people to push for social acceptance and affirmation of their own subjective ‘personal truth.’”

The lesson here is not that a mental disorder is wiped off a list because over time, the population of sexual identity disorders “got healthy” and no longer exhibited the symptoms of transgenderism, as would be done in removing the bald eagle from the endangered species list. No, the lesson here is that if activists lobby long enough and hard enough, they can affect significant numbers of a voting block to get the offending language removed from the DSM.

Will the Left’s/LGBTQ activists’ lobbying of the APA to “end transgenderism as a mental illness” be a pyrrhic victory, subject to being overturned, or will it be the precursor to something more odious? The money is on “mission creep.” Apparently, with enough leverage and a sufficiently good cover story and effective activists, it won’t be long before there is another effort to “reconceptualize the state of ‘being pedo’ from the mental illness of ‘pedophilia’ to another normal human variant.” What if a transgender self-identifies as a wolf or an elf or a dragon? Activist psychiatrists are hard at work laying the ground work for “otherkin.” It's a difficult issue, one compounded by the fact that many otherkin also identify as transgender themselves.

Dr. Marc D. Feldman, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Alabama, suggests that “otherkin” didn't seem like a good fit for mental health treatment. “People in advantaged countries like to think of themselves as especially complex, colorful, and special. The otherkin phenomenon certainly reflects this first-world preoccupation. But it isn't illegal, doesn't victimize other people, and isn't a form of mental illness (unless people become delusional about it), so I don't see a particular need for ‘treatment.’” In other words, if you self-identify as a wolf or an elf or a dragon you’re just “another normal human variant,” like transgenders. That is until you seek employment or demand your insurance company to pay for your conversion to a wolf or an elf or a dragon. See the transgender Dragon Lady and recall DOD’s recent policy change in tattoos. Eva Medusa should be on the next DOD recruiting poster.

The DSM as the U.S. universal authority for psychiatric diagnoses has been corrupted by external pressures. “Various authorities criticized that many DSM-5 revisions or additions lack empirical support; inter-rater reliability is low for many disorders; several sections contain poorly written, confusing, or contradictory information; and the psychiatric drug industry unduly influenced the manual's content. Many of the members of work groups for the DSM-5 had conflicting interests, including ties to pharmaceutical companies. Various scientists have argued that the DSM-5 forces clinicians to make distinctions that are not supported by solid evidence, distinctions that have major treatment implications, including drug prescriptions and the availability of health insurance coverage. General criticism of the DSM-5 ultimately resulted in a petition, signed by many mental health organizations, which called for outside review of DSM-5.”

There’s only so much accomplished APA members, like Dr. Paul R. McHugh, can do against a social justice steamroller. The APA and their DSM have been fully compromised and subject to social engineering, undue influence, and new definitions that are not supported by the evidence.

“‘Sex change’ is biologically impossible,” said Dr. McHugh. “People who undergo sex-reassignment surgery do not change from men to women or vice versa. Rather, they become feminized men or masculinized women. Claiming that this is civil-rights matter and encouraging surgical intervention is in reality to collaborate with and promote a mental disorder.”

If you thought you had problems with men in your daughter’s locker room or men winning women’s track events, wait until the LGBTQ activists are able to remove their next offending personality disorder, pedophilia, from the DSM. As for transgenders in the military, Republican Rep. Duncan Hunter of California said people should decide what sex they are before signing up. “Figure out whether you're man or a woman before you join. U.S. taxpayers shouldn't have to foot the bill.”

The Trump administration needs to take the APA to court and decertify the compromised DSM as the universal authority for psychiatric diagnoses in the United States and reject the APA’s guidance and the DSM-5 as the source reference for the Obama policy of transgenders in the military.