I said OK. If he turns out to be gay, OK

11 Nov 2014 03:19

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About one in every 450 Americans identify as transgender, according to a 2011 study by the Williams Institute at the UCLA School of Law.

KEY RESOURCES: (From top) executive director Jenn Burleton of TransActive Gender Center, psychologist Laura Edwards-Leeper of Pacific University, pediatric endocrinologists Sevket Yigit and Karin Selva of Randall Children’s Hospital.
Photos by Kenton Waltz
In 2004, when Reed was born, the American Medical Association hadn’t yet issued standards of care for the treatment of transgender adults, let alone kids.
Even today, “the medical community knows very little about transgenderism,” says Dr. Jack Drescher, a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. For many years, the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders included a condition called “gender identity disorder,” classifying it as the discomfort a transgender person feels in his or her body.m-shoesbox Last year, a panel of experts at the APA considered removing the diagnosis from the DSM, as happened with homosexuality in 1974. Instead, they changed the name to “gender dysphoria” but left the diagnosis in place.

Drescher says that the name change was an attempt to destigmatize the condition. “For the DSM, ‘do less harm’ meant changing the language and keeping the diagnosis in so people still have access to care,” he says. “If it’s taken out of DSM, no one would pay for treatment. Without a diagnosis code you can’t get hormones, you can’t get surgery.”

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