On April 26, ECOM organized the first round table discussion in the region of Eastern Europe and Central Asia on the depathologization of transgenderness, following the release of the new International Classification of Diseases. The event was facilitated by Daniyar Orsekov, Advocacy Coordinator at ECOM.
The goal of the round table was to inform interested participants about the ICD-11 and its changes concerning trans* people, as well as to inform about the situation regarding depathologization in the EECA region. The new ICD-11 has revised definitions of health that are linked to a person's gender identity. It replaces the diagnostic category Transsexualism in the chapter Mental and behavioral disorders with Gender incongruence of adolescence or adulthood and Gender incongruence of childhood in the new chapter Conditions related to sexual health. This reflects scientific evidence that trans* and gender-diverse identities are not mental health conditions, and classifying them as such can cause significant stigma.
Daniyar Orsekov noted the importance of including trans* activists in processes related to depathologization: «The lack of strategies for depathologization at the regional level or in the countries is what activists need to work on now. In recent years, there has been an increase in trans* activism at the global level, with trans* activists involved in international advocacy when the ICD-11 was being developed. This is a great indicator that the EECA region is becoming one of the global decision-making places where it is possible to share the expertise and include the experience and realities of EECA»
The round table on the depathologization of transgenderness involved a representative of the WHO, international and non-governmental organizations as well as individual activists.
A recording of the round table is available on our YouTube channel
, and you will find written summaries of the speeches in the description of the video.
This round table was only the first step towards discussing depathologization at the regional level. Now ECOM has initiated the creation of a working group together with the Regional Trans* People Working Group
and the Trans* Coalition in the post-Soviet space, for a quarterly discussion of depathologization and experience exchange.