Search

LGBT campaigners ‘gobsmacked’ as Camden Council lists ‘transsexualism’ as mental illness

PUBLISHED: 10:00 08 May 2014 | UPDATED: 14:08 08 May 2014

LGBT campaigners were shocked to see transsexualism alongside dementia

LGBT campaigners were shocked to see transsexualism alongside dementia

Archant

Campaigners from the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender community were “gobsmacked” after discovering that transsexualism had been listed alongside serious mental illnesses on Camden Council housing forms.

The term, denounced as “insensitive and upsetting” by representatives of Camden’s transgender community, appeared in the same bracket as dementia, severe alcoholism and schizophrenia.

It has led to concerns that the council risks undoing campaigns to rid the transgender community of a stigma that branded its members mentally ill.

Nigel Harris, acting director of Camden LGBT [lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender] Forum, said: “My colleagues and I were gobsmacked to see it on the list.

“Firstly, the word transsexualism is archaic and loaded with connotations that bring back memories of discrimination and of it being seen as a disease.

“The fact that it’s listed alongside such serious mental illnesses is also very upsetting to the trans community, and it could cause real tensions if people are led to believe what the council appears to be saying.

“As of 2012, transsexualism and gender dysphoria are no longer diagnosed as a mental illness. Defining it as such is completely outdated and really quite offensive.”

While not a mental illness, gender dysphoria is viewed by medical professionals as a condition resulting from a person feeling a mismatch between their biological sex and their gender identity.

The transgender community, along with other groups, has long sought to rid medical classifications of their identity and to challenge the stigma that being gay or transgender was the result of a mental disorder.

Council bosses initially insisted that their classification was one taken from international medical guidelines.

It was later pointed out that the council, which prides itself on its record of supporting equality in the LGBT community, was using out-dated manuals that at one point also listed being gay as a mental illness.

A council spokesman said: “The council has not sought to cause offence, however, gender identity disorders are classified by medical professionals within the category of mental health and are diagnosed as such.

“We always seek to promote inclusion and equality across the community regardless of race, religion, gender and sexuality.

“After speaking to our medical assessment officer we will be changing the following terms on our forms; ‘mental illness’ to ‘mental health condition’, and ‘transsexualism’ to ‘gender dysphoria’.”

0 comments

Welcome , please leave your message below.

Optional - JPG files only
Optional - MP3 files only
Optional - 3GP, AVI, MOV, MPG or WMV files
Comments

Please log in to leave a comment and share your views with other Hampstead Highgate Express visitors.

We enable people to post comments with the aim of encouraging open debate.

Only people who register and sign up to our terms and conditions can post comments. These terms and conditions explain our house rules and legal guidelines.

Comments are not edited by Hampstead Highgate Express staff prior to publication but may be automatically filtered.

If you have a complaint about a comment please contact us by clicking on the Report This Comment button next to the comment.

Not a member yet?

Register to create your own unique Hampstead Highgate Express account for free.

Signing up is free, quick and easy and offers you the chance to add comments, personalise the site with local information picked just for you, and more.

Sign up now

Latest Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 16:32

Camden children took to the stage today with the cast of hit production STOMP as part of a campaign to encourage exercise across the borough.

Yesterday, 15:39

The struggle for the marginal parliamentary seat of Hornsey and Wood Green has kicked off – with Labour MP Catherine West and Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate Dawn Barnes fighting over the key issue of Brexit.

Yesterday, 15:29

The parliamentary candidate is pleased that ex-MP David Ward has been sacked as a Lib Dem election candidate after accusing “the Jews” of atrocities against the Palestinians.

Yesterday, 15:01

A new action group urges residents to make their views known on “the most significant re-landscaping of the Golders Green neighbourhood since its creation” – with new houses and shops and the demolition of the Clock Tower War Memorial proposed.

Yesterday, 12:44

Part of the Northern line between Camden and Edware will be closed while a track is replaced and the overground will also be partially closed.

Yesterday, 11:50

The suspect exposed himself to two women after asking them for directions to the nearest toilets and started to perform a sex act.

Yesterday, 10:43

The creperie, which attracts celebrity customers such as Kate Moss and Harry Styles, could close as the owner is being forced to pay back the majority of a £15,000 electricity bill which he believes he could not have run up

Wed, 11:53

A group of Camden teachers have challenged themselves to cycle the length of the separation wall that divides the Palestinian West Bank from Israel.

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Sign up to receive our regular email newsletter

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Digital Edition

cover

Enjoy the
Hampstead & Highgate Express
e-edition today

Subscribe

Education and Training

cover

Read the
Education and Training
e-edition today

Read Now