Denmark is striving to become the first country in the world that will no longer see being transgender as a mental illness.
Currently, the World Health Organisation (WHO) still classifies being transgender as a mental or behavioural disorder.
WHO has promised to assess its guidelines and work on the definition, reports Independent, however, Danish government officials commented that they have ‘run out of patience’ with the organisation.
‘We have long worked to ensure that transgender individuals in Denmark have equal rights,’ said Flemming Møller Mortensen of the Social Democrats party. ‘Our patience has run out in relation to the ongoing work [to declassify it as an illness] at the UN.’
Mortensen explained to Danish news agency Ritzau that classifying transgender people as mentally ill is deeply stigmatising and can lead to various forms of discrimination.
‘That is incredibly stigmatising and in no way reflects how we see transgender people in Denmark. It should be a neutral diagnosis. It’s incredibly discriminatory to put transgender people in a box with mental and behavioural illnesses,’ Mortensen said.
He added: ‘It also has other consequences — trans people can be denied insurance because they have a diagnosis.’
The Danish government aims to declassify being transgender as a mental illness, regardless of WHO’s decision, at the start of 2017.
Health Minster Sophie Lohde confirmed to local media that there would be a ‘Danish solo act’ if the WHO fails to give a timely response to the issue.
Original Source: Gay Star News