The International Foundation for Gender Education has posted an online petition calling for removal of transvestic disorder (302.3) from the pending fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.
The American Psychiatric Association released draft diagnostic criteria for the DSM-5 last month, and a period of public review and comment ends April 20.
Their proposal includes the diagnostic category transvestic disorder, previously called transvestic fetishism, which classifies crossdressing as a mental illness.
Mainly birth-assigned males are affected by this diagnosis:
According to the DSM, a person diagnosed with a transvestic fetish derives sexual gratification from dressing in clothing appropriate for a member of the opposite sex. But almost all patients diagnosed with transvestic fetishism are men dressing as women.
This lopsided gender ratio may be partly due to the fact that contemporary Western societies allow women to dress in a wide range of clothing styles influenced by menswear, whereas the reverse is not the case. While it is not at all unusual to see women wearing jeans, tailored trousers, Western-style boots or even tuxedos in some circumstances, men wearing dresses or high-heeled shoes look distinctly out of place.
This diagnosis perpetuates false stereotypes of sexual deviance, often used to deny human dignity and civil justice to gender-variant and transgender people. It punishes feminine gender expression, pathologizes consensual sexual expression and sexualizes gender expression that is not necessarily sexually motivated.
The transvestic disorder category is not limited to crossdressers or male-identified people: It also targets transsexual women with a specifier of autogynephilia — a deeply offensive label to many transgender women, as it implies all transsexual women transition for sexual reasons rather than harmony with gender identity.
Please help put an end to this psychiatric diagnosis of gender expression by adding your name to the petition.
Via, The Bierico Project.