Search

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

10:00 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 Defining it as such is completely outdated and really quite offensive.”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 News Stories

Yesterday, 16:27
Survivor Jack Hecht, 86, examines his quilt square, created by grandsons Josh and Noah Hecht.

As the world prepares to mark the 70th anniversary of VE Day, a group of Holocaust survivors and their families celebrated their own miraculous rescue at the end of the Second World War, by unveiling a giant memory quilt.

Hannah Gelbart, the granddaughter of one survivor explains.

Yesterday, 12:10
The Royal Free has launched an investigation into claims of unsafe care made by a doctor

The Royal Free has launched an investigation into care provided to its breast cancer patients after one of its doctors raised serious concerns over safety at the hospital.

Yesterday, 10:29
Sir Keir Starmer. Picture: Polly Hancock.

Former director of public prosecutions (DPP) Sir Keir Starmer has raised the prospect of assisted dying becoming legal under a Labour government, insisting he will not “stand in the way” of a change to the law if elected as an MP this week.

Yesterday, 08:00
Channing School headteacher Barbara Elliott with pupils Ria Kovacs, Sui-Lin Le Carson, Audrey Scher and Lucy Simpson. Picture: Nigel Sutton

A top-performing girls’ school has been branded “exceptional” and given the highest possible rating following its first inspection for six years.

Most read news

Property Newsletter Sign-up

The latest North London property news and features straight into your inbox.

Other Emails:
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

Competitions

Limited edition Opihr Gin goodies up for grabs!

Opihr Oriental Spiced Gin is a unique style of London Dry Gin created at G&J one of the world’s oldest gin distillers, using exotic botanicals, herbs and spices.

Pop on the most stylish eyewear around from Specsavers.

London eyecare specialists Specsavers are offering London24 readers the chance to win a £150 voucher to spend on stylish eyewear in the city.

Digital Edition

Image
Read the Hampstead & Highgate Express e-edition today E-edition
Family Notices 24


Our trusted business finder