Sexuality Policy Watch

ILGA – Statement on gender incongruence of childhood

Originally posted on ILGA’s website. Available at:

As the world federation of LGBTI organisations, we strongly believe that gender diversity is not – and should never be – a pathology.

We also say that no pre-pubertal child should ever be given a diagnosis because of their gender identity or gender expression. Indeed, any such diagnosis of children has no medical utility.

We maintain that children are ever-changing and developing individuals, who explore themselves, their personalities and their potential as they grow. This includes their sense of, and expression of, their gender, eventually leading to their identity formation. Children develop best when they are encouraged to grow and explore in loving, supportive environments – not stigmatised or medicalised.

Instead of maintaining a pathologising route, we highly recommend that age-appropriate gender-affirmative counselling, balanced information and support for children, their families and other significant people in a child’s life should be made available. Schools, as well as the media, play crucial roles in leading on this, and should be supported in their work.

We strongly support the proposal to remove the diagnoses of Transsexualism and Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood from Chapter 5 of the current version of the International Classification of Diseases (ICD-10) and any further versions, because gender diversity is not a mental illness. We also call on the World Health Organisation to refrain from replacing Gender Identity Disorder of Childhood with any new pathologising diagnosis, including Gender Incongruence of Childhood.

ILGA stands united with the global trans* movement against any form of pathologisation of children.

ILGA Board and Staff
ILGA World Trans* Secretariat


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