Denmark will no longer treat ‘transgenderism’ as a mental illness

Denmark has become the first country to pull ‘transgenderism’ as a recognised mental illness – even though the World Health Organisation is yet to issue guidance.

Gender identity disorder (GID), the term medically used to refer to transgender people, is currently listed as a mental disorder in the World Health Organisation (WHO)’s International Classification of Diseases (ICD).

Though changes on the issue are proposed by the WHO, they are characteristically slow – homosexuality was only fully removed from the ICD in 1990.

Amid a growing call to depathologize transgender people by altering the medically-accepted definition, it would appear that one trans-inclusive country has run out of patience with the WHO.

Denmark, which has one of the world’s most progressive gender recognition systems for trans people, acted this week without WHO guidance to remove GID from its definitions of mental illness.

According to The Local, Health Minister Sophie Løhde confirmed that Denmark will make the change by itself on January 1, 2017.

Flemming Møller Mortensen of the Social Democrats said: “The WHO is currently working on a new system for registering diagnoses.

“It has been working on it for a very, very long time. Now we’ve run out of patience, and want to send out a signal saying that if the system is not changed by October, then we in Denmark will go it alone.”

He added: “It’s incredibly discriminatory to put transgender people in a box with mental and behavioural illnesses. It also has other consequences. Trans people can be denied insurance because they have a diagnosis.”

A statement from the country’s leading LGBT rights group says: “LGBT Denmark see the minister’s decision as right victory for human rights and will celebrate today that from January 1, transgender people will no longer be considered mentally ill in Denmark.