Breaking down attitudes and ignorance about gender dysphoria.
Article Type: Editorial
Subject: Transgender people (Health aspects)
Dysphonia (Research)
Attitude (Psychology) (Research)
Pub Date: 02/01/2011
Publication: Name: South African Medical Journal Publisher: South African Medical Association Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2011 South African Medical Association ISSN: 0256-9574
Issue: Date: Feb, 2011 Source Volume: 101 Source Issue: 2
Topic: Event Code: 310 Science & research
Geographic: Geographic Scope: South Africa Geographic Code: 6SOUT South Africa
Accession Number: 262037413
Full Text: Not many doctors will have come across trans-gender patients, given the relatively low prevalence of gender dysphoria, itself a term hardly likely to have been included in their prescribed medical school textbooks. Yet those who have, with a few notable exceptions, have hardly covered themselves in compassionate glory, (1) if you listen to those who've sought their help. In Izindaba, Chris Bateman explores this rare condition and what services exist to address it in South Africa while interviewing Lex Kirsten, (2) whose openness about his journey from being born a girl to becoming a man is deeply courageous and educational.

Kirsten is a co-founder of Gender Dynamix, a human rights organisation promoting freedom of expression of gender identity and advocating for the rights of transgender, transsexual and gender nonconforming people and providing them with resources.

The catalyst for the reportage was a pioneering inaugural conference held in Hout Bay late last year where trans-gender men and women, health care providers and the national Department of Health met to establish a long-awaited research and policy agenda.

They called for the 'de-pathologisation' of the current transgender diagnosis from 'Gender Identity Disorder' to 'Gender Incongruence' in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM5).
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