The World Health Organization's latest update is a big win for trans people — and science.

We're learning a lot more about gender.

The World Health Organization recently announced a big change to its International Classification of Diseases database, and that's good news for trans people.

The ICD is a centuries-old catalog tracking pretty much every medical condition you could possibly think of. With the release of its 11th edition, the WHO moved gender incongruence — the diagnostic term applied to trans people — from the catalog's mental health section to its new home under sexual health conditions.

In a video explaining the decision to reclassify the condition, Dr. Lale Say, the coordinator of the WHO's Department of Reproductive Health and Research, explains that recent discoveries helped inform the action.


GIF from World Health Organization/YouTube.

"It was taken out from mental health disorders because we had [a] better understanding that this wasn't actually a mental health condition, and leaving it there was causing stigma," she said. "So in order to reduce the stigma while also ensuring access to necessary health interventions, this was placed into a different chapter."

The WHO's official press release states that "evidence is now clear that it is not a mental disorder." In other words, there are specific medical needs associated with being transgender, so it didn't make sense to eliminate the diagnosis from the ICD completely. Exclusion from the ICD altogether could have resulted in trans people not being able to access things like hormone therapies and other transition-related care.

WHO's move echoes that of other medical organizations that have come out in support of trans people in recent years.

As WHO's release says, it is clear that being trans is not a mental disorder. Still, there's a strong misconception that persists. In 2014, the American Psychiatric Association updated its Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM) classification for trans people. What was once called "gender identity disorder" was updated to "gender dysphoria." Why the change? It's actually pretty similar to WHO's rationale:

"DSM-5 aims to avoid stigma and ensure clinical care for individuals who see and feel themselves to be a different gender than their assigned gender. It replaces the diagnostic name 'gender identity disorder' with 'gender dysphoria,' as well as makes other important clarifications in the criteria. It is important to note that gender nonconformity is not in itself a mental disorder. The critical element of gender dysphoria is the presence of clinically significant distress associated with the condition."

In 2014, the American Medical Association issued a resolution urging states to allow trans people to update identifying documents like birth certificates. The following year, they stated that there is "no medically valid reason to exclude transgender individuals" from the military (a call they renewed in light of President Trump's trans military ban). In 2016, they called on insurance companies to cover transition-related health care as they would any other medically necessary treatment. In 2017, the AMA came out against the use of so-called bathroom bills meant to prevent trans people from "accessing basic human services and public facilities in line with one’s gender identity, including, but not limited to, the use of restrooms."

Groups like the American Psychological Association, the American Association of Family Physicians, the National Association of Social Workers (whose position is gender dysphoria should be removed from the DSM entirely), the American Public Health Association, the National Commission on Correctional Health Care, and the World Professional Association for Transgender Health have all come out in favor providing affirming care for trans people.

The logo of the World Health Organization outside its headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. Photo by Fabrice Coffrini/AFP/Getty Images.

The idea that trans people simply have a "mental disorder" is misleading and inaccurate.

Mental health is a fraught topic in the U.S., and the stigma surrounding it leads to some unfortunate misconceptions. Some may see the words "mental health" and conclude that whatever the problem is, it's all in a person's head and doesn't stem from a physical or biological origin. Of course, that's not the case. The same is true of being transgender.

People hold gay pride (forefront) and trans pride (background) flags during a pride parade in Bratislava, Slovakia. Photo by Samuel Kubani/AFP/Getty Images.

The data is there to prove it. In 2014, writer Brynn Tannehill published an article defending the biological origins of gender dysphoria. Tannehill was writing in response to an article published by Fox News in which the author argued that transgender people simply didn't exist. Tannehill's rebuttal was jam-packed with data — citing 15 different studies supporting the idea that there is a biological basis to being transgender.

The science clearly favors one side: the side that believes trans people are who they say they are, the side that believes trans people should have access to medical care and legal protections against discrimination.

You may be asking yourself what this means for your everyday life. The answer: probably nothing, especially if you're not trans.

Being trans means having your existence and your identity constantly put up for debate. As someone who is trans, I know this well. It's exhausting, and too often, people will try to dispute my own existence (or the validity of it, at least) by citing "science." The truth is that it's just recently that "science" is coming to strong conclusions about trans people — and these new findings dispute the anti-trans arguments.

7-year-old transgender boy Jacob Lemay at his house in Melrose, Massachusetts, in 2017. At this age, there is no medical component to his transition, just social. Photo by Jewel Samad/AFP/Getty Images.

For decades, much of what we knew about gender dysphoria and its origins was based solely on a handful of imperfect studies put out by just a handful of imperfect researchers. Many of their dated, harmful, and highly disputed findings foster stigma that still exists today. The importance of groups like the World Health Organization, the American Psychiatric Association, and the American Medical Association taking affirmative stands in support of trans people is that it reflects a better understanding of who trans people are and the evolving science around the issue.

We exist. It's science.

Watch this short video from the WHO explaining this update to the ICD.

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Should a man lose his home because the grass in his yard grew higher than 10 inches? The city of Dunedin, Florida seems to think so.

According to the Institute of Justice, which is representing Jim Ficken, he had a very good reason for not mowing his lawn – and tried to rectify the situation as best he could.

In 2014, Jim's mom became ill and he visited her often in South Carolina to help her out. When he was away, his grass grew too long and he was cited by a code office; he cut the grass and wasn't fined.

France has started forcing supermarkets to donate food instead of throwing it away.

But several years later, this one infraction would come back to haunt him after he left to take care of him's mom's affairs after she died. The arrangements he made to have his grass cut fell through (his friend who he asked to help him out passed away unexpectedly) and that set off a chain reaction that may result in him losing his home.

The 69-year-old retiree now faces a $29,833.50 fine plus interest. Watch the video to find out just what Jim is having to deal with.

Mow Your Lawn or Lose Your House! www.youtube.com

Cities

The world officially loves Michelle Obama.

The former first lady has overtaken the number one spot in a poll of the world's most admired women. Conducted by online research firm YouGov, the study uses international polling tools to survey people in countries around the world about who they most admire.

In the men's category, Bill Gates took the top spot, followed by Barack Obama and Jackie Chan.

In the women's category, Michelle Obama came first, followed by Oprah Winfrey and Angelina Jolie. Obama pushed Jolie out of the number one spot she claimed last year.

Unsurprising, really, because what's not to love about Michelle Obama? She is smart, kind, funny, accomplished, a great dancer, a devoted wife and mother, and an all-around, genuinely good person.

She has remained dignified and strong in the face of rabid masses of so-called Americans who spent eight years and beyond insisting that she's a man disguised as a woman. She's endured non-stop racist memes and terrifying threats to her family. She has received far more than her fair share of cruelty, and always takes the high road. She's the one who coined, "When they go low, we go high," after all.

She came from humble beginnings and remains down to earth despite becoming a familiar face around the world. She's not much older than me, but I still want to be like Michelle Obama when I grow up.

Her memoir, Becoming, may end up being the best-selling memoir of all time, having already sold 10 million copies—a clear sign that people can't get enough Michelle, because there's no such thing as too much Michelle.

Don't like Michelle Obama? Don't care. Those of us who love her will fly our MO flags high and without apology, paying no mind to folks with cold, dead hearts who don't know a gem of a human being when they see one. There is nothing any hater can say or do to make us admire this undeniably admirable woman any less.

When it seems like the world has lost its mind—which is how it feels most days these days—I'm just going to keep coming back to this study as evidence that hope for humanity is not lost.

Here. Enjoy some real-life Michelle on Jimmy Kimmel. (GAH. WHY IS SHE SO CUTE AND AWESOME. I can't even handle it.)

Michelle & Barack Obama are Boring Now www.youtube.com

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via EarthFix / Flickr

What will future generations never believe that we tolerated in 2019?

Dolphin and orca captivity, for sure. They'll probably shake their heads at how people died because they couldn't afford healthcare. And, they'll be completely mystified at the amount of food some people waste while others go starving.

According to Biological Diversity, "An estimated 40 percent of the food produced in the United States is wasted every year, costing households, businesses and farms about $218 billion annually."

There are so many things wrong with this.

First of all it's a waste of money for the households who throw out good food. Second, it's a waste of all of the resources that went into growing the food, including the animals who gave their lives for the meal. Third, there's something very wrong with throwing out food when one in eight Americans struggle with hunger.

Supermarkets are just as guilty of this unnecessary waste as consumers. About 10% of all food waste are supermarket products thrown out before they've reached their expiration date.

Three years ago, France took big steps to combat food waste by making a law that bans grocery stores from throwing away edible food.According to the new ordinance, stores can be fined for up to $4,500 for each infraction.

Previously, the French threw out 7.1 million tons of food. Sixty-seven percent of which was tossed by consumers, 15% by restaurants, and 11% by grocery stores.

This has created a network of over 5,000 charities that accept the food from supermarkets and donate them to charity. The law also struck down agreements between supermarkets and manufacturers that prohibited the stores from donating food to charities.

"There was one food manufacturer that was not authorized to donate the sandwiches it made for a particular supermarket brand. But now, we get 30,000 sandwiches a month from them — sandwiches that used to be thrown away," Jacques Bailet, head of the French network of food banks known as Banques Alimentaires, told NPR.

It's expected that similar laws may spread through Europe, but people are a lot less confident at it happening in the United States. The USDA believes that the biggest barrier to such a program would be cost to the charities and or supermarkets.

"The logistics of getting safe, wholesome, edible food from anywhere to people that can use it is really difficult," the organization said according to Gizmodo. "If you're having to set up a really expensive system to recover marginal amounts of food, that's not good for anybody."

Plus, the idea may seem a little too "socialist" for the average American's appetite.

"The French version is quite socialist, but I would say in a great way because you're providing a way where they [supermarkets] have to do the beneficial things not only for the environment, but from an ethical standpoint of getting healthy food to those who need it and minimizing some of the harmful greenhouse gas emissions that come when food ends up in a landfill," Jonathan Bloom, the author of American Wasteland, told NPR.

However, just because something may be socialist doesn't mean it's wrong. The greater wrong is the insane waste of money, damage to the environment, and devastation caused by hunger that can easily be avoided.

Planet

The world is dark and full of terrors, but every once in a while it graces us with something to warm our icy-cold hearts. And that is what we have today, with a single dad who went viral on Twitter after his daughter posted the photos he sent her when trying to pick out and outfit for his date. You love to see it.




After seeing these heartwarming pics, people on Twitter started suggesting this adorable man date their moms. It was essentially a mom and date matchmaking frenzy.

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