Peru Officially Classifies Transgender, Nonbinary Individuals As ‘Mentally Ill’

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 09: Demonstrators hold banners and placards during the London Trans Pride protest on July 9, 2022 in London, England. Trans rights activists took to the streets of central London this weekend to march for the fourth year under the slogan, Pride is a Protest at Trans+ Pride. (Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)
(Photo by Hollie Adams/Getty Images)

OAN’s James Meyers
2:42 PM – Wednesday, May 15, 2024

Peru’s government has officially announced that they are classifying transgender, nonbinary, and even intersex people as “mentally ill.”

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The decision was made to ensure that the country’s public health services could “guarantee full coverage of medical attention for mental health” in regards to the trans and gay community, according to the Telegraph outlet. 

The new announcement will purportedly change the language of the Essentials Health Insurance Plan to reflect that trans, nonbinary, and intersex people have a mental disorder, LGBTQ+ outlet Pink News reported.

However, transgenders and other LGBTQ+ people will not be forced to undergo conversion therapies, the health ministry announced in a statement issued on Friday. 

Meanwhile, LGBTQ+ activist groups across Peru were highly critical of the decision and described the declaration as a reversal of course in their “fight for rights and safety.”

“100 years after the decriminalization of homosexuality, the @Minsa_Peru has nothing better to do than to include trans people in the category of mental illnesses,” Jheinser Pacaya, director of OutfestPeru, wrote on X (Twitter).

“We demand and we will not rest until its repeal,” they added.

Percy Mayta-Tristan, a medical researcher at Lima’s Scientific University of the South, also mentioned to the Telegraph that the decision showed a lack of awareness regarding the LGBTQ+ community. 

“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,” he asserted.

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