GDI Calls for the Removal of Diagnosis from Proposed Legislation

Submitted by Stephanie Stevens (

Transgender Equality Network Ireland, Ireland

20 OCT 2012

GDI Calls for the Removal of Diagnosis from Proposed Legislation

Gay Doctors Ireland (GDI) supports TENI's campaign to extricate the
medical progress, including diagnosis of gender identity disorder,
from the criteria for gender recognition legislation.

We are a professional organisation of LGBT doctors and medical
students in Ireland, with a large membership consisting of
consultants, GPs, NCHDs, other physicians and medical students.

We believe that the concept of 'gender identity disorder' is a
shoe-horning, one-size-fits-all diagnosis that many transgender people
find stigmatising and pathologizing. We know that many transgender
people will fall outside the strict rubric of the official psychiatric
criteria for 'diagnosis'. It is somewhat analagous to the medical
profession's past description of homosexuality as a mental illness —
homosexuality was listed in the International Classification of
Diseases up until as late as 1990.

Nonetheless we recognise that transgender people seek access to
healthcare: many for support; some request transition via medical
hormonal therapy and/or surgical treatments. However many will not
choose to do so.

We believe that a system requiring medical diagnosis for simple legal
recognition of one's gender, considering the complexities and the fact
that everyone is different, is not just outdated: it is wrong,
hassling and unnecessary.

Our gender identity and its legal recognition is something most of us
take for granted. But the rights of minorities are not something that
should be taken for granted. On behalf of GDI, I call on the Irish
government to act sensibly and sensitively and to enhance the quality
of life and dignity of the many wonderful transgender people living in
this country.

Dr Leslie Hannon
Chairperson of Gay Doctors Ireland

(c) Transgender Equality Network Ireland 2012

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