UGR research calls for protection of human rights of trans people

UGR research calls for protection of human rights of trans people

Amets Suess Schwend, Interview

09 February 2016

International trans depathologization activism demands that the current diagnostic classification of transsexuality as a mental disorder be withdrawn, according to a doctoral thesis by Amets Suess Schwend, a researcher at the University of Granada. Furthermore, activist groups are calling for the public healthcare system to cover the costs of body modification, for gender to be legally recognized without medical requirements, and for the depathologization of gender diversity in childhood.

The researcher also points out that international trans depathologization activism is currently fighting for a shift in the trans healthcare model, from an assessment to an Informed Consent approach, as well as for the protection of trans people from dynamics of discrimination and transphobic violence.

In his study, Amets Suess has undertaken an analysis of the emergence and internationalization of trans depathologization activism, the historical development of the current diagnostic classification of gender transitions and modifications in different editions of diagnostic manuals and trans healthcare standards.

The research reviews different thematic lines present within activist and academic-activist discourses for trans depathologization, ranging from its interrelation with previous discourses, professional perspectives, institutional developments, to theoretical frameworks and related activist campaigns. His work also offers reflections on the contribution of the depathologization perspective to epistemology, methodology, and ethics in research.

Amets Suess argues that the depathologization of gender expressions, trajectories and identities in clinical, educational, family, social and legal contexts, as well as in research, “is a fundamental aspect for the protection of human rights of trans people”.

He explains that over the last ten years: “The trans depathologization perspective has been given widespread coverage and has made it onto the agendas of regional and international organizations, scientific discourse, and clinical protocols.” Furthermore, changes are taking place in the diagnostic classification of gender transitions. In some countries, important advances in the legal recognition of gender have been achieved. However, Amets Suess notes: “A continuous state of pathologization, discrimination, and social exclusion of trans people in different parts of the world can be detected.”

Amets Suess is a trans activist, and researcher at the Andalusian School of Public Health, a public institution which provides training, consultancy and research services for the healthcare sector. He is also a member of the research group ‘Otras. Perspectivas Feministas en Investigación Social de la UGR’, led by Professor Carmen Gregorio Gil.

Contact the researcher:

Amets Suess Schwend, Grupo de Investigación Otras. Perspectivas Feministas en Investigación Social, Universidad de Granada Escuela Andaluza de Salud Pública

Phone: +34 958 02 74 00


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