My name is Max, I'm a person like everybody else and I have the right to live my life without stigma, without people telling me I am sick because of how I live or how I look.
I'm not sick. I'm Transgender.
But the World Health Organization (WHO) insists that I am sick. Transsexualism is still part of the list of WHO's mental illness list.
Gender is not an illness, its just a part of who I am, like being Jewish or vegetarian or sometimes talking too much! Considering transexual people as mentally ill serves only to contribute to their discrimination.
So many countries have requested WHO to remove transexuality from that list. Even the European Parliament in September 2011 adopted a resolution calling on the WHO to cease to consider transsexuality as a disease. But today transexuality is still there.
The WHO is revising the classification. It's time to say it loud and clear: transexuals are not sick. As was the case with homosexuality, which came out of that list in 1990, now is the time to stop stigmatising transexual people.
This doesn’t mean that we should be excluded from the health system: pregnant women are not sick, but they have medical protocols and assistance. The same should happen with trans people.
The WHO should actively be developing a classification that allows trans people to get the medical help them need to transition without depending on a mental health diagnosis that serves to stigmatise them.
October 20 marks the International Day of Action for Trans Despathologization. Join me in signing this petition and ask the World Health Organization to stop considering transsexual people like me as mentally ill.
Maxwell Zachs, Channel Four's 'My Transsexual Summer'. Maxwellzachs.blogspot.com
'My name is Drew-Ashlyn, for years I tried to fit into the norm, when really it should be the norm trying to fit in with me. I'm proud to be who I am and not what I am. Labels should not define us. We're all soft and pink on the inside and should embrace who we are. Please help and sign the petition if you too want to help show the world that your proud of who you are" Drew-Ashlyn, Channel Four's 'My Transsexual Summer'.
"My name is Fox. People who don't identify with the gender they are born into are strong, courageous individuals who have a lengthy journey to fully experience who they are. Many don't make it. Every single person has a network of friends and family, as well as hopes and aspirations for life, just like you. As a human race, it seems so obvious that separation and domination have no place in the new paradigm. I have found that guilt and shame are completely wasted emotions. Love yourself and your whole world will change too"
Fox, Channel Four's 'My Transsexual Summer'.
"I'm Lewis and I was born into a female body. That doesn't define me, but it is important in the sense that I wouldn't be here today, living my life to it's fullest, if it wasn't for the necessary treatment I've had. Being transgendered isn't an illness. To be forced to live in a body that we feel so uncomfortable in, to live a life that doesn't belong to us - that would cause us illness, depression, no quality of life. Transitioning can be the solution to the problem. When we finally feel comfortable in our own skin, we are a person of ambitions and dreams, love and laughter, living like any human should be. Please sign this petition, because to put it simply, I guess there are people that still don't and refuse to understand"
Lewis, Channel Four's 'My Transsexual Summer'.
This petition is part of an International campaign: