STRAP's Declaration in Support of the Stop Trans Pathologization 2012 Campaign

Recognizing that transsexualism is classified as a mental disorder in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders IV (DSM IV) of the American Psychiatric Association (APA) and in the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) of the World Health Organization (WHO);

Considering that gender is a binary classification system imposed on human beings since their birth;

Bearing in mind that the gender identities and expressions that strictly fit into the traditional norms of being either male or female are the only socially allowed gender identities and expressions;

that this gender binary classification system has led to the discrimination, violence, and marginalization against human beings who do not conform to its standards;

Upholding the definition of gender identity in the Yogyakarta Principles, as each person's deeply felt internal and individual experience of gender, which may or may not correspond with the sex assigned at birth, including the personal sense of the body (which may involve, if freely chosen, modification of bodily appearance or function by medical, surgical or other means) and other expressions of gender, including dress, speech and mannerisms;

Affirming the Yogyakarta Principles on the application of international human rights law in relation to sexual orientation and gender identity, especially Principle 1 The Right to the Universal Enjoyment of Human Rights, which calls on states to undertake programmes of education and awareness to promote and enhance the full enjoyment of all human rights by all persons, irrespective of sexual orientation and gender identity'; and Principle 2 The Rights to Equality and Non Discrimination, which calls on States to 'take all appropriate action, including programmes of education and training, with a view to achieving the elimination of prejudicial or discriminatory attitudes or behaviours which are related to the idea of the inferiority or the superiority of any sexual orientation or gender identity or gender expression';

the 26th of May 2010 statement of the Board of Directors of the World Professional Association for Transgender Health (WPATH) that calls for the de-psychopathologisation of gender variance worldwide and which affirms that the expression of gender characteristics, including identities, that are not stereotypically associated with one's assigned sex at birth is a common and culturally-diverse human phenomenon which should not be judged as inherently pathological or negative;

the societal vision of our organization of a nurturing society that affirms, respects, and upholds the dignity, the right to self-determination and good quality of life of all;

The Society of Transsexual Women of the Philippines (STRAP), in adopting this declaration, hereby:

Rejects the pathologization of gender identities and expressions and supports the call to Stop Trans Pathologization by the year 2012

Affirms that the development of gender identity and expression is part of the right to the free development of personality;

Affirms that gender identity and expression is a matter of self-determination and as sacred as the right to life itself;

Affirms that the role of the psychiatric and medical communities over the lives of transgender people is not to pathologize and stigmatize them but to provide patient-centred care that upholds that highest possible standards of health; and

Calls for rights-based legislation in the Philippines that would protect transgender people from discrimination and allow them to change their legal sex into their gender identity.