Peru classifies transgenderism as a mental illness
Peru labels transgenderism a mental illness (cue the outrage).

TCS Wire

May 15, 2024

Peru’s government has issued a decree reclassifying various transgender and intersex identities as mental illnesses. 

Peru classifies transgenderism as a mental illness

Officially signed into law, the decree specifies conditions such as “transsexualism” and “gender identity disorder in children” as mental health issues. 

The Peruvian health ministry defended the decision, stating it was necessary to “guarantee full coverage of medical attention for mental health.”

The reclassification will lead to changes in the language used in Peru’s Essential Health Insurance Plan (PEAS).

Furthermore, terms like “dual-role transvestitism,” “fetishistic transvestism,” and other related gender identity conditions are also encompassed under this classification.

Despite the sweeping categorizations, the ministry emphasized in a statement on May 11 that LGBTQ+ individuals should remain protected from so-called “conversion therapies,” referencing a 2021 resolution that safeguards against such. 

Outrage ensues

The “trans community” in Peru and numerous advocacy groups have opposed the change. 

Jheinser Pacaya, director of OutfestPeru, expressed his disdain on social media, criticizing the government’s priorities and vowing that the trans community would not cease their efforts until the decree is overturned. 

“The government has nothing better to do than to attack trans people,” Pacaya stated.

Similarly, the LGBT rights group Red Peruana said the decree stigmatizes the Peruvian trans community and relies on an “outdated” understanding of gender identity. 

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