WPATH Global Board of Directors - Call for Nominations
May 15, 2018
Nominations are now open for the following positions on the WPATH Global Board of Directors:
Letter to the President of Portugal
May 3, 2018
Dear Mr. President of the Portuguese Republic,
Professor Marcelo Rebelo de Sousa,
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH), founded in 1979, is a global organization composed of medical professionals, medical and social science researchers, attorneys at law, and clinical providers and administrators whose work impacts the lives of transgender people. WPATH is the source of the internationally accepted Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender-Nonconforming People, currently in its seventh edition. WPATH educates healthcare providers, the judiciary, policymakers, and researchers, and provides contexts for these professionals to engage in knowledge exchange. Our mission is to encourage education and research to ensure that the highest possible standards of health, social services, and justice are available to transgender people around the world.
We were elated when we learned that the Portuguese Parliament had approved a law establishing self-determination in legal gender recognition processes. This is an important step toward non-discrimination and full respect for the Human Rights of transgender people in Portugal.
A Joint WPATH/ANZPATH Letter Advocating for Australian Legislative Reform in the Area of Gender Recognition
April 23, 2018
The federal marriage equality legislation has recently been enacted in Australia. One effect is that State and Territory birth certificate laws requiring mandatory divorce (i.e. laws forcing a married trans person to divorce as a precondition for changing legal gender status) need to be changed.
A number of trans organisations in Australia are seeing this as a window of opportunity; an opportunity to press for a much broader review of the laws currently governing the issuance of birth certificates.
Trans Health Australia, a national community-led organisation, recently approached WPATH asking for the Association to get involved. In response, and guided by our Identity Recognition Statement, WPATH Board prepared a joint letter arguing for legislative reform in all Australian States and Territories (including South Australia and Australian Capital Territory where mandatory divorce requirements currently do not exist) to allow for a rights-based model for gender recognition.
All involved hope that Australian trans community groups, as well as their allies in advocacy, will use this document in their work towards gender recognition reforms across the country.
Open Letter to the Government of India re: Transgender Rights 2016 Bill
November 30, 2017
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) is the only international, interdisciplinary professional association dedicated to the scientific study of gender dysphoria and the evidence-based best practices in transgender health. We are a non-profit association with over 1500 members in the fields of medicine, mental health, law and ethics, and scientific research. Formed in 1979 for the purpose of bringing scientists and medical providers together to exchange knowledge about the field, we are the creators of the internationally accepted Standards of Care for the Health of Transsexual, Transgender, and Gender-nonconforming People, now in its 7th edition (SOC v7), and available in a Hindi translation on our website: www.wpath.org. We have also advised many sovereign states (at their request) with respect to transgender health and human and civil rights, and submitted numerous educational briefs to courts of law adjudicating cases involving transgender people in many different countries.
We, WPATH's Board of Directors, write to express our concern regarding certain provisions of the Transgender Rights Bill 2016.
We note first of all that the Bill appears to confuse the concepts of transgender and intersex. We assert that transgender people are persons who identify in a gender other than the one that matches the sex they were assigned at birth. Some transgender people are also intersex. Many are not. Intersex people are individuals who have atypical sex characteristics that do not conform to the categories of male or female. Some intersex people are also transgender. Many are not.
As the world's peak professional organization concerned with transgender health, WPATH is aware of the importance that gender recognition can play in facilitating the health and wellbeing of transgender people. We share here the official WPATH Identity Recognition Statement (available on the WPATH website at by clicking here)
WPATH Identity Recognition Statement (issued November 15th, 2017).
The World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) recognizes that, for optimal physical and mental health, persons must be able to freely express their gender identity, whether or not that identity conforms to the expectations of others. WPATH further recognizes the right of all people to identity documents consistent with their gender identity, including those documents which confer legal gender status. Such documents are essential to the ability of all people to enjoy rights and opportunities equal to those available to others; to access accommodation, education, employment, and health care; to travel; to navigate everyday transactions; and to enjoy safety. Transgender people, regardless of how they identify or appear, should enjoy the gender recognition all persons expect and deserve.
Medical and other barriers to gender recognition for transgender individuals may harm physical and mental health. WPATH opposes all medical requirements that act as barriers to those wishing to change legal sex or gender markers on documents. These include requirements for diagnosis, counseling or therapy, puberty blockers, hormones, any form of surgery (including that which involves sterilization), or any other requirements for any form of clinical treatment or letters from doctors. WPATH argues that marital and parental status should not be barriers to recognition of gender change, and opposes requirements for persons to undergo periods living in their affirmed gender, or for enforced waiting or 'cooling off' periods after applying for a change in documents. Further, court and judicial hearings can produce psychological, as well as financial and logistical barriers to legal gender change, and may also violate personal privacy rights or needs.
WPATH advocates that appropriate gender recognition should be available to transgender youth, including those who are under the age of majority, as well as to individuals who are incarcerated or institutionalized. WPATH recognizes that there is a spectrum of gender identities, and that choices of identity limited to Male or Female may be inadequate to reflect all gender identities. An option of X, NB (non-binary), or Other (as examples) should be available for individuals who so choose.
WPATH urges governments to eliminate barriers to gender recognition, and to institute transparent, affordable and otherwise accessible administrative procedures affirming self-determination, when gender markers on identity documents are considered necessary. These procedures should be based in law and protect privacy.
We note that the provisions of the Transgender Rights Bill present barriers to gender recognition. The proposed District Screening Committees (comprising senior medical officers and mental health professionals) may result in medical involvement in a process that should be entirely self-determined. It will also add uncertainty and prompt anxiety in those persons applying for gender recognition.
On grounds of health and wellbeing for transgender people, we also urge the Indian Government to:
remove the provisions in the Bill that criminalize begging. Such provisions may have a disproportionate impact on the ability of transgender people to survive in a society in which there are relatively few employment opportunities available.
remove provisions that have the effect of limiting rights of transgender people to associate and live freely with each other. We note that the right to associate and live with persons able to provide emotional and practical support is key to the health and wellbeing of transgender people.
enact provisions ( i ) providing gender affirming healthcare on the same basis as other healthcare available to the general population, ensuring that such healthcare follows guidelines consistent with the WPATH Standards of Care current at the time in question; ( ii ) ensuring that such healthcare is available to transgender people who are incarcerated, and ( iii ) ensuring that procedures are available for transgender people to seek redress in cases of medical negligence or abuse of human rights by healthcare personnel.
enact provisions that can effectively protect transgender people from discrimination.
We urge the Indian Government to withdraw this Bill, and replace it with one which more closely corresponds to the terms and spirit of the Supreme Court NALSA judgement.
Gail Knudson, MD, FRCPC