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The World Health Organization no longer classifies being trans as a 'mental illness.'

A massive win for transgender people everywhere!

The World Health Organization no longer classifies being trans as a 'mental illness.'


The United Nations health agency said the change would improve social acceptance.

Being transgender will no longer be classified as a mental illness by the World Health Organization (WHO), USA Today reported.

WHO adopted the eleventh edition of its International Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD) on May 25 in which "gender incongruence" — the organization's designation for people whose gender identity is separate from the gender they were assigned at birth — will now be classified as a sexual health condition.


"It was taken out from the 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," said Dr. Lale Say, coordinator of WHO's Adolescents and at-Risk Populations team, in an interview with CNN.

"So in order to reduce the stigma while also ensuring access to necessary health interventions, this was placed in a different chapter," Say said. The new guidelines reflecting the change will come into effect on Jan. 1, 2022.



WHO: Revision of ICD-11 (gender incongruence/transgender) – questions and answers (Q&A) www.youtube.com


LGBTQ groups have responded to the announcement with praise.

"This is the result of tremendous effort by trans and gender diverse activists from around the world to insist on our humanity, and I am elated that the WHO agrees that gender identity is not a mental illness," said Julia Ehrt, executive director of advocacy network Transgender Europe, in the CNN report.



The WHO's past classification of transgender identity as pathological had "contributed to the enormous stigma, discrimination, harassment, criminalization, and abuse on the basis of gender identity and expression," the organization said in a statement, especially since the ICD catalog is considered the international standard for reporting diseases and health conditions.

The catalog's update could have a positive societal impact toward trans people, who face extremely high levels of poverty, discrimination, and violence around the world.In its new description of gender incongruence, the WHO says that "gender variant behavior and preferences alone are not a basis" for diagnosing someone's mental health. The change has been hailed as a sign of progress and better medical understanding.

"We've historically misclassified a lot of conditions in medicine because of a combination of stigma, fear, and misunderstanding," Dr. Jennifer Conti, a fellow at the nonprofit Physicians for Reproductive Health, told USA Today.

Global Citizen campaigns against discrimination of all forms. You can take action here.

Update, May 30, 2019: This story was updated to reflect recent developments.

This story originally appeared on Global Citizen. You can read it here.
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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.