Each year activists from around the world identify one theme that they feel should get priority attention. While everyone is of course free to work on their own agenda, the annual theme allows one specific aspect to get highlighted.
For 2016, activists have selected “Mental Health and Well Being”
Sexual and gender diversities are still characterized by many states and by a majority of people worldwide as mental heath problems, and these definitions then feature at the heart of public persecution, discrimination and social stigma. Even in more progressive places, this assumption, albeit unconscious, still lies at the root of many barriers to full equality for LGBTI people.
Within the wide range of consequences this has for sexual, gender and bodily minorities, advocates have wished to highlight two particular situations:
– A mental health diagnosis like “Gender identity disorder” (GID) is mandatory in almost all countries for any Trans person wishing to transition. While some form of diagnosis remains necessary to access health care as desired by Trans people, to keep this diagnosis within the mental health categories contributes to the stigmatization and social exclusion of trans people, without contributing to their physical or mental well-being.
– The “psychiatric” argument is still used in many places to justify the “treatment” of LGBT people, that aims to ‘reform’ or ‘cure’ them of their ‘disease’. While there is a growing consensus against this approach, “conversion therapies” still constitute a major challenge in many contexts.
These issues will be given a particular highlight in 2016
Read our detailed background note for more information on this issue
We look forward to working with you on an exciting new edition of the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia & Biphobia!!