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 Defining it as such is completely outdated and really quite offensive.”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 Hampstead & Highgate News Stories

Yesterday, 18:44

We have created this moving tribute video of the heartwarming day a community came together and marched to free West Hampstead mum Nazanin Zaghari Ratcliffe from jail in Iran.

Yesterday, 17:38

As plans to demolish a well-loved Highgate community centre are put forward, neighbours are making their opinions clear to council planners

Tue, 19:23

A former London Metropolitan University lecturer is looking to inspire the next generation of architects with a series of early years workshops in Islington.

Tue, 17:05

Starting university is something new, big and exciting, whether you are moving to a new city or another country.

Tue, 16:08

British Transport Police are appealing for witnesses to incident which resulted in a woman falling onto the tracks.

Tue, 15:53

The company has been fined £500,000 after an engineer was injured plunging down a lift shaft at the disused South Kentish Town station.

Tue, 09:59

Haringey Council agreed to take in 10 families earlier this month, but is now calling for kind-hearted homeowners to find space to host them

Tue, 09:36

A planning appeal for an extra flat in the 130-year-old pub has been dismissed as the inspector said it would make the pub unviable

Newsletter Sign Up

Sign up to the following newsletters:

Most read Hampstead & Highgate news

HOT JOBS

Show Job Lists

Property Newsletter Sign-up

Get the latest North London property news and features straight to your inbox with our regular newsletter

I am also happy to receive other emails...
Fields marked with a * are mandatory
Email Marketing by e-shot

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