Peruvian government classifies trans people as “mentally ill” – LGBTQ Nation

Author: John Russell

The government of Peru has officially declared transgender people “mentally ill.”

In its announcement, the country’s health ministry claimed that the decree, signed by socially conservative President Dina Boluarte, was the only way it could “guarantee full coverage of medical attention for mental health” for trans, non-binary, and intersex people under the country’s universal health insurance.

Peru’s Ministry of Health (Minsa) on Friday also released a statement confirming its position that “gender and sexual diversity are not diseases” and its “rejection of the stigmatization of sexual diversity.” Further, the statement reads, “Sexual orientation and gender identity of a person does not in itself constitute a physical or mental health disorder and therefore should not be subjected to treatment or medical care or to so-called conversion therapies,” which are illegal in Peru.

The Minsa statement continued that the update to PEAS “is carried out in the face of the need to ensure the benefit of comprehensive mental health interventions, as conditions for the full exercise of the right to health and well-being of the person, the family and the community.”

Despite Minsa’s statement, Percy Mayta-Tristán of Lima’s Scientific University of the South worries that labeling trans people as mentally ill could have dire consequences.

“You can’t ignore the context that this is happening in a super-conservative society, where the LGBT community has no rights and where labeling them as mentally ill opens the door to conversion therapy,” Mayta-Tristán told The Telegraph.

Peruvian LGBTQ+ advocates slammed the announcement.

“100 years after the decriminalization of homosexuality, the @Minsa_Peru has no better idea than to include trans people in the category of mental illnesses,” Jheinser Pacaya, director of OutFest Peru wrote on X. “We demand and we will not rest until its repeal.”

According to The Telegraph, Peruvian health minister César Vásquez did not comment on the backlash.

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Author: John Russell

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