Denmark will become the first country to no longer define being transgender as a mental illness

Denmark will become the first country to no longer define being transgender as a mental illness
Credit: Toby Talbot/AP

Denmark is set to become the first country to no longer define being transgender as a mental illness.

Government officials said classifying transgender people as mentally ill was “stigmatising” and they had “run out of patience” with the World Health Organisation’s (WHO) work on the definition.

Being transgender is officially considered a mental or behavioural disorder by the WHO, although the organisation is currently assessing its guidance.

Changes by the WHO are characteristically slow, and the Danish government will now aim to push ahead with the move on 1 January 2017.

“At the moment, transgender is listed as a mental illness or behavioural problem,” Social Democrat health spokesman Flemming Moller Mortensen told Danish news agency Ritzau.

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