Many of you will remember Jenna Talackova, the Canadian Miss Universe nominee who had to fight for her right to compete at last year's pageant because she's transgendered (she won the appeal and finished in the top 12). Now, Talackova is asking the World Health Organization to remove transsexualism from their list of mental disorders. And her campaign appears to be getting attention — the petition has nearly 45,000 signatures thus far. Talackova writes:
I'm not sick. In fact I'm great! I'm a woman that had to undergo transgender medical procedures to become who I really am on in the inside.
But the World Health Organization (WHO) insists that I, and millions of other trans people are sick. The WHO actually considers transsexualism to be a mental disorder.
Since facing and overcoming discrimination for being a transgender woman back in March - when I was kicked out of and then re-admitted to the Miss Universe Pageant - I've been working to fight the stigma and discrimination facing people like me.
Join me in signing this petition and ask the World Health Organization to stop considering transsexual people mentally ill.
This also doesn't mean trans people shouldn't be included in the health system and provided with treatments, however, this has nothing to do with us being classified as mentally ill.
The WHO is definitely willing to reconsider their choices, and they're actually in the process of revising the list right now. If we all speak up I'm sure we can make a difference.
Talackova's petition comes at a time when the American Psychiatric Association is developing a new non-disordered classification of gender dysphoria. So now would be a good time for WHO to follow suit. You can sign the petition here.