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GATE Statement on the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia 2013

GATE joins today the global commemoration of the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia. As every year, May 17th represent for us a renewed opportunity for calling to struggle against homophobic and transphobic violence –and, in particular, against all those forms of violence associated with gender identity, gender expression and bodily diversity.

We celebrate those advances that, in different countries, are contributing to substantially improve the legal and social situation of trans* people, as well as the increased attention to their specific issues at the regional and international human rights systems. However, GATE notes with concern the persistence of those conditions that, very often, sustain, produce and/or aggravate transphobia: poverty; racism and xenophobia; institutional violence (including schools, hospitals and law enforcement); ableism; familiar and community violence; religious segregation and persecution; media degradation; pathologization; lack of access to gender recognition and/or transitional healthcare or access limited by unacceptable requirements, such as sterilization or psychiatric diagnosis; lack of adequate legal protections and responses to violence against trans* people, among others. These conditions, that affect our communities worldwide, strike with special virulence against trans* and gender-variant children and teenagers, sex workers, migrants and people living with HIV/AIDS.

More than twenty years after homosexuality was removed from the International Classification of Diseases on May 17th, 1990, trans* identities are still codified as mental disorders –and gender variance in childhood, with independence of further sexual orientation or gender identity, is still considered a mentally disordered way of growing up. GATE calls today for an international joint commitment in favor of depathologizing all forms of gender diversity in the upcoming 11th version of the Classification, and request the World Health Organization to expand the possibilities for trans* participation in the process.

Trans* efforts to change these realities –from exclusion to pathologization, from lack of access to lack to redress, from violence to forgetfulness- take place in contexts too often characterized by severe limitations at the level of inclusion, funding and full acknowledgement of trans* expertise. Therefore, GATE wants to specially congratulate today trans* activists worldwide, those who work everyday to transform collectively the world we live in –to eradicate transphobia and homophobia, and all the injustices that accompany them.