You are born with an XY or an XX chromosome, primary characteristics that will objectively develop one genotype: male or female. But now you can choose whether to be male, female, or something else—and when the American Psychiatric Association releases their new manual, it will be perfectly normal.
In May 2013, the APA will publish the DSM-5, the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders. A significant change will be the reclassification of Gender Identity Disorder to “Gender Dysphoria.” “Dysphoria” is a word meaning “emotional distress.”
Proponents of the change believe it is a positive step, removing the stigma of mental illness from a group of people—not all of whom feel the need for psychological counselling. Critics, on the other hand, including one former president of the APA, maintain that the change is motivated by politics, rather than science.
“We know there is a whole community of people out there who are not seeking medical attention and live between the two binary categories,” said Jack Drescher, a member of the DSM-5 Sexual and Gender Identity Disorders Work Group. “We wanted to send the message that the therapist’s job isn’t to pathologize.”