{It was once considered a psychological disorder to have same-sex  interests and desires. In 1986, this "disorder" was unclassified as a  disorder. Today, it is a "disorder" to have opposite-gender feelings  that lead toward a gender transition, despite the fact that it is  corrected physically and medically, not psychologically. This is my  attempt to convince the APA that they were were wrong in 1986 and are  wrong today in 2011}

Dear Sirs/Ma’am:

I implore you to comprehend fully the consequences related to the permanence of any revisions that are hereby enacted. As transgender females, it need not be said that our reality, although impacted greatly by geography, consists of daily interactions with others in societal groups and out—family and extended family, loved ones, employers, medical institutions, educational institutions, and countless more. Our reality clashes with their “reality” which is the belief by many that we are deviant nonconformists, mentally deranged—in short subhuman. History shows the horrific consequences of such reprogramming of otherwise “good” persons on a mass scale.

Today, on a micro level, far too many of us have lost our lives from such thinking. We who have not carry the burden of ensuring that their lives were not taken in vain. Although your impact will be only part of the whole, the declassification of Gender Dysphoria as a mental disorder will be a disproportionate part of this whole—it will begin the long journey back to the reality that we are not subhuman, we are not deviants, we are not deranged. One need read no further than the rants of domestic religious extremists who purport to subscribe to a loving and forgiving faith and yet by virtue of having captured the hearts and minds of many are instrumental in transgender persecution. Our reality, that is—the reality that Gender Dysphoria is a physical and not a mental condition treated through physicians and not psychiatrists—has been and will continue to be on a head-on collision course with the “good” people of today, not unlike what occurred in Europe in the 20Th century. An exaggeration? The annual Transgender Day of Remembrance reminds us that its not.

Let us not forget that the descriptor often referred to as fallibility is and never will be owned solely by individuals or groups….the removal of homosexuality from the DSM in 1986 can never be referenced for the purpose of DSM credibility—-to the contrary—it conclusively demonstrates the existence of DSM errata pre-1986. I beseech you to, in the spirit of pure objectivity, draw a fair and parallel comparison with the events, thoughts and insight that led to the inclusion and subsequent removal of homosexuality as a disorder in 1986. Everyone has opinions….but the seeking of the “truth” and the reaffirmation thereof, within a civilized society turns toward experts and professionals who in turn seek out the DSM relative to transgender/transsexual issues. Courtroom decisions, medical decisions, employment decisions, family matters all are impacted and decided based on the settling of mere opinion by such professional consultation…not just domestically but now internationally through the power of instant communication. The ripple effect that begins from expert analysis trickles down to street level…to our children, our livelihood, our health…our lives…unlimited repercussions.

In closing I wish to reaffirm the above: (1) the resolution of gender dysphoria is through MEDICAL prescription with physiological, and for us, tremendously positive repercussions we refer to as “development”—not through psychotic mind-altering medications that are subject to the Controlled Substances Act. (2) this truly is about life and death—the DSM and its classifications relative to disorders has an impact that, extended to its final conclusion, ultimately decides who will live and who will not, in essence. The label of “mental disorder” has been more than many could bear with tragic results. (3) when a dispute exists, the DSM “bible” is often used to settle the matter in many venues…impacting countless lives of children as well through judicial decisions that separate child from parent…without merit except for the possession of this “mental disorder”.

(4) the removal of homosexuality in 1986, to this day affirms that, despite the positive value of the DSM, it doesn’t always “get it right” (5) I submit that you consider the success stories of many females with a transgender history, not all of which are public—in all occupations. Were we to have a true psychotic disorder, this fact, objectively viewed, must lead the professionals as yourself to conclude one thing—-whatever the cause of physical incongruence—-a valid mental disorder is not it. (6) I also submit to you the fact that many of us, self included, have lost employment for no other reason than the DSM classification of a “mental disorder”. Suddenly, an employee undergoing an otherwise legal medically-monitored gender transition, and often despite having the ID gender marker corrected, becomes a “safety hazard” to self and others…the outcome of which is loss of job…even in a gender-protected state such as California. (7) Let us not forget that race itself was once considered a “disorder”—until in WW II many proved highly capable—despite their race.

(8) I dream about the day when we achieve critical mass in the U.S. and elsewhere where it is understood that a gender dysphoria journey is relegated to the “PRIVATE-MEDICAL” file….as any other medical condition…so that we can retain our families, our jobs…all semblance of infrastructure necessary for productivity. This will only happen if the DSM gets it right this time. Please, the DSM had it wrong in 1986, and it has it wrong today. Thank you.