“I’m currently attending the inaugural conference of the US branch of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH). WPATH is responsible for compiling the Standards of Care, meant to guide best practice for all professionals who work with trans* and gender variant people. It’s a collection of psychiatrists, psychologists, psychotherapists, doctors, surgeons, endocrinologists and pediatricians. Some are trans* themselves. Many are not. The organization has long had its politics, as organizations do. Indeed, it’s a particularly political area: trans* and gender variant people have been pathologized as mentally ill merely for existing for most of the history of Western medicine.
Something important happened here yesterday [Friday February 3] that I want to share with you. Sitting in a stuffy room on the kind of chair you only find at conferences or weddings, I got to witness something I think we should be talking about, both because of what it represents for the area of transgender mental healthcare and for what it speaks to in our wider context today.”