The American Psychiatric Association has issued a sweeping ruling that all gender identity is an essential part of who a person is, not just the way that they feel.
The group, the American Psychiatric Associations Transgender Task Force, said transgender people deserve equal treatment in the United States, regardless of the gender on their birth certificates.
The APA statement, issued last week, came as the Transgender Legal Defense and Education Fund, a national legal defense and education group, sued the American Psychological Association over the APA’s transgender policy.
The Transgender Task Group, which was formed in April by three transgender activists and is headed by lawyer Jillian Kay Melchior, is seeking a federal court order requiring the APAs Transgender Task Committee to rescind the policy.
The APA, however, has been reluctant to do so.
The task force said its goal is to “end the stigma associated with gender identity in the U.S. through a legal and equitable approach.”
The group is calling for “safe and inclusive facilities and services” for transgender people.
It said it’s the first time in the APAS Transgender Task’s 30-year history that the task force has gone so far as to issue a directive that does not explicitly say transgender people are men or women.
“The task group is dedicated to eliminating the stigma that transgender people and their families and friends endure as they navigate their transition,” the statement said.
“Transgender people are our friends, family members, co-workers, students, neighbors, and many others.”
The APAs transgender task force was formed on April 15, after the Trump administration, under President Donald Trump, rescinded the Obama-era Obama-proposed guidelines that defined a transgender person as someone who identifies as both male and female.
The guidance required doctors and other health care providers to refer to transgender people as either “gender dysphoric” or “gender nonconforming.”
The group has argued that a person can be neither a male nor a female at the same time, and it has argued there’s no “biological male” or female gender.
The statement says that because gender identity “is not a biological fact but rather a complex construct, it is a complex area of inquiry that must be treated with care and respect.”
The statement said the task group’s policy is consistent with that of the American College of Physicians, which has said transgender identity is “comparable to biological gender” and therefore should be treated the same as biological gender.