Kelley Winters

Book Announcement: Gender Madness in American Psychiatry, Essays from the Struggle for Dignity

Filed By Kelley Winters | January 26, 2009 11:30 AM | comments

Filed in: Entertainment
Tags: APA, DSM V, gender identity disorder, GID reform, transgender, Transvestic Fetishism

More than three decades after the American madcoverB400.jpgPsychiatric Association voted to remove the classification of homosexuality as a mental disorder, those who do not conform to their assigned birth-sex, either by inner identity or outer social expression, are labeled mentally ill in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders (DSM). Resulting stereotypes of psychiatric disorder and sexual deviance pose grave consequences to their human dignity and civil liberties. For transsexual individuals, the current diagnostic categories of Gender Identity Disorder (GID) and Tranvestic Fetishism also pose barriers to access to medical transition procedures. As the APA works toward its fifth revision of the DSM in 2012, these gender diagnoses provoke growing controversy while failing to explain the existence of countless well-adjusted transsexual, gender queer and gender transcendent people who have contributed to society for millennia.

Gender Madness in American Psychiatry: Essays from the Struggle for Dignity provides an overview of the literature and attitudes behind the current diagnostic nomenclature and a historical snapshot of the issues and challenges faced by gender transcendent people on the eve of publication of the Fifth Edition of the DSM. This book contains a collection of essays from the struggle for transgender dignity and health care access. They are expanded from pieces posted to the GID Reform Advocates web site in 2008 and incorporate the generous feedback and discussion from advocates and critics.

For students of psychology, sociology, anthropology and gender studies curricula, this book provides an overview of the literature and social context that led to the current diagnostic nomenclature. It offers a historical snapshot of the issues and challenges faced by the trans-community on the eve of publication of the DSM-V. For gender transcendent people, this book is a call for respect and celebration of the broad diversity that exists within our community. Yet, it is also a call for unity and solidarity in demanding change for psychiatric policies and stereotypes that harm all trans-people. For mental health clinicians who work with transitioning clients, this book is intended to provide some insight, from a trans-perspective, into the barriers to social legitimacy and access to medical care that are posed by the categories of current Gender Identity Disorder and Transvestic Fetishism.

Gender Madness in American Psychiatry,
Essays from the Struggle for Dignity

Kelley Winters, Ph.D.
GID Reform Advocates, 2008
$17.99 USD
ISBN-10: 1-4392-2388-2
ISBN-13: 9781439223888
Paperback: 220 pages

Foreword by Dan Karasic, M.D.

For more information, see

Available for order at:

  • International Foundation for Gender Education (IFGE) Bookstore,;

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Is anything in there about transgender veterans and the problems they face with the VA because of this diagnosis? Let me know if this can be helpful with our struggles with the VA.

Thanks for raising a very important question, Monica. Time did not allow me to explore veterans' access to transition care and other medical care in the first edition. I've heard both negative and positive stories. Most of the positive stories involved an ally or care provider willing to work around barriers in the VA system. I would love to hear from trans vets and your experiences in VA facilities. How has the classification of mental illness and stereotype of "disordered" gender identity impacted your access to transition care? What is the role of GID and TF diagnosis in referrals to gender-reparative therapies for vets and those on active duty?

I'm so glad you put this together! This will be a great resource for so many people.

Has this book received any sort of peer review?

You can find pre-publication reviews and more information at