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Open Letter: WPATH (SOC 8)

Dear WPATH SOC 8 Revision Committee,

Gender Dysphoria Alliance is a non-partisan volunteer education and advocacy network for adults with an experience of gender dysphoria (incongruence), whether transitioned, desisted or de-transitioned.

Rather than contribute detailed feedback on each chapter, we wish to make this general statement.

We agree that there is natural diversity which should not be pathologized but, as people who have experienced gender dysphoria (as defined by DSM-5) at some point in our lives, we are clear that having a perception of incongruence from our natal sex, to the degree that we seek to alter our bodies, is a condition of some kind. We consider it negligent that the global clinical authority on transgender medicine has abandoned all evidence-based understanding of this condition in favour of an activist narrative. Trans people have many advocacy organizations around the world. This is not what we need WPATH for. We need WPATH to set evidence-based clinical standards and provide clear definitions of the condition we seek/sought treatment for, to instill confidence in our system of care. We are concerned about the future of transgender medicine and mental health care if our clinicians do not retain any understanding of what this condition is.

We would like you to consider that the vast majority of transphobia and infighting is the result of poor understandings, or conflicting narratives, about what “trans” is. Everyone, including trans people, has their own pet theory about what trans is. Rather than bury evidence, we need a solid foundation of evidence to ground us. We can destigmatize gender dysphoria without denying the realities of it. Had we spent the past 30 years doing so, we’d be that much further ahead.

It is not appropriate for WPATH to impose a political framework onto us, as a definition of our experience. We do not wish to be used in a political movement. All people with gender dysphoria/incongruence should be free to choose our own political and cultural beliefs. This is the definition of liberty.

Our recommendations:

· Provide analysis of the etiological studies and theories, and clear definition of terms

· Create a chapter dedicated to the needs of those who detransition.

· Extend the requirements described in the Adolescent chapter to age 25.

· Add desistance studies to Child Chapter in order to protect GNC/gay children

We invite you to watch our discussion about SOC8:

Thank-you for your consideration,

The Gender Dysphoria Alliance


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