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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, October 26, 2012 - Volume 40 Issue 43
'We're not sick!'
Section One
ALL STORIES
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'We're not sick!'

40,000 demand World Health Organization stop labeling Trans people mentally ill

by Shaun Knittel - SGN Associate Editor

Jenna Talackova, the Canadian beauty queen who rose to fame earlier this year after being expelled from Donald Trump's Miss Universe Canada Pageant for having undergone Transgender medical procedures, has launched a petition on Change.org as well as a video appeal in defense of Trans people everywhere.

The petition asks the World Health Organization (WHO) to immediately remove transsexualism from its list of mental disorders.

In just over one week, more than 45,000 people have signed the petition, which can be found at www.change.org/notsick.

A WHO working group is currently revising the classification and activists hope the campaign will result in a new list that does not include transsexualism.

ANTI-DISCRIMINATION
'As a woman who fought for a Trans-inclusive Miss Universe competition, I'm so glad I can help bring attention to this issue,' said Talackova. 'My hope is that the World Health Organization will listen to everyone signing our petition on Change.org, and that we can make this huge step toward eliminating discrimination against Trans people.'

Gloria Allred, a prominent American attorney famous for taking on and winning high-profile cases representing LGBT people, has supported the campaign, saying, 'It is long overdue for the World Health Organization to remove transsexualism from the list of mental disorders.'

In a video, Allred explains the negative impacts of the WHO label and how she believes it 'serves to increase the discrimination that those who are Transsexual already suffer in their everyday lives.'

After Jenna was kicked out of the Miss Universe Canada pageant, a student in New York started a Change.org petition for her, demanding that pageant officials reinstate her. After tens of thousands of people signed that petition and others like Allred worked on her behalf, Jenna was allowed to participate.

This WHO campaign is part of an international initiative supported in various countries by other prominent Trans celebrities, politicians, and activists, including Vladimir Luxuria of Italy, Carla Antonelli of Spain, Rochelle Gregorie of France, Kim Schicklang Valentijn de Hinhg of the Netherlands, and Maxwell Zachs of the U.K.

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