Gender Incongruency part 2 is the continuation of the simple straight-forward definition provided previously and now we delve into why Gender Incongruency is the preferred term verses Gender Identity Disorder.
The documentation provided on the different views of Gender Identity Dysphoria sound complex, but really it is not that complicated when you break it down. I will do my best to provide clear reasoning to explain it. First of all everyone has Gender Identity, just as they have a sexual orientation. When this identity is incongruent with the natal sex and established stereotypes a diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder is given. Since this is really an issue of incongruency and not necessarily a dysfunction the term disorder is inappropriate.
Think carefully about the term disorder. Most allopathic treatments use a chemical and/or a surgical approach by prescribing a medicine or surgically altering the body to treat the illness or disorder. Medicines are intended to be temporary till the body heals itself. Gender Dysphoria is based on an incongruency from birth. Some feel it is a birth defect, depending on how it manifests. Often, if the patient is born completely male or female they do not deal with the issue due to societal and peer pressure until later in life. They have dealt with this condition all their life because they do not know any better. Since there are many things in this world that do not make sense we all deal with incongruences. Is it so hard to believe that a person cannot live with these feelings?
“Principle 18 of The Yogyakarta Principles states that “Notwithstanding any classifications to the contrary, a person’s sexual orientation and gender identity are not, in and of themselves, medical conditions and are not to be treated, cured, or suppressed.” According to these Principles, any gender identity of a transsexual or transgendered person is neither “disorder” nor mental illness, thus the diagnosis “gender identity disorder” can be contradictory and irreverent.” (Wikipedia.com, 2012)
Given this fact and the fact that physicians need a way to treat patients who request it the term Gender Incongruency seems very appropriate, thus the Concerned Professionals proposal. The other issue is treatment and payment. In our present system insurance usually picks up the bill but many specifically exclude transgender/transsexual treatments. This trend is shifting however and it is because they have a diagnosis in the DSM to use along with the ICD-10 that insurance is willing to cover hormone therapy, although most do not cover surgical interventions. Lobbying by activist groups, LGBT awareness groups, and allies have helped increase awareness of the need a great deal.
Eventually Gender Identity will not be pathologized and people will be free to live outside the gender binary. This is another trend that is promising at the moment. However there will still be individuals who feel they need to change their sex and who benefit from hormone treatment, so the health care system needs to be prepared to address these needs. Insurance needs to cover this simple and relatively inexpensive treatment, esp. when compared to other sophisticated medical treatments. Gender Incongruency conveys the essence of this condition quite nicely.