The World Health Organization (WHO) has just abolished transgender as a disorder. In its guide to diseases, WHO has replaced “gender identity disorder” with “marked incongruence” between gender at birth and current gender.
Sexual Variants Are Not Disorders
So, once again, psychiatry follows the headlines! It’s not science, it’s public relations.
The initial mistake was making all of this sexual behaviour into “disorders.” Psychiatry has always functioned as a kind of morality gatekeeper for society, even though psychiatrists have MDs and are supposed to see the world from a scientific perspective, not a moralistic one. But all these sexual variants we practice today were once regarded in psychiatry as pathological departures from the hetero missionary position. Homosexuality? Of course, it’s a disease (as well as a sin)!
Roleplaying? That was once lumped together with pederasty and bestiality. And even in DSM-5, which struggles to stay abreast of sexual modernity, topping your partner in bed — or bottoming, for her — is still seen as a disease unless you feel totally cool discussing it with your mother or your family doctor. But if you feel any “shame” at all, watch out! You’re may be headed for the “sexual disorders clinic,” and you can take your place in the waiting room alongside the child molesters.
The Stakes Are High
So, it was a mistake ever to have branded transsexuality as a disease, just as it was a mistake to have stamped so many other deviations from 1950s-style Judeo-Christian normativeness “diseases.” But there are real stakes here. Daddies who are into fetish can have joint custody of their children taken away. The members of the congregation will definitely not be thrilled if you, as a male, turn up one Sunday morning wearing lipstick.
Thus, we have psychiatric sex-science: Behind the notepad of the “shrink,” we see the minatory finger of the priest.