Transsexuality and public health in Brazil

Márcia Arán Daniela Murta Tatiana Lionço About the authors

The article aims to discuss transsexuality in the context of the Brazilian public health policies. Firstly, it questions the necessity of the diagnosis of Gender Identity Disorder as a condition of access to treatment in the public health service, searching to understand the historical construction of transsexuality as a pathological phenomenon. After that, it analyzes the debate on public health policies for transsexuals, considering the process of legalization of the reassignment surgery in the country, the resolutions of the Federal Council of Medicine and the constitution of representative forums of the Health Ministry, as well as professionals of the area and representatives of the social movement. Finally, considering the references available that emphasizes the critics on the analysis of transsexuality as a pathological phenomenon in the areas of the Public Health and Social Sciences, it intends to emphasize the importance of understanding the diversity of subjectivity’s forms and gender’s construction considering transsexuality. In this context, it discusses the question of transsexuals’ autonomy and suggests public policies that, even following an assistance protocol, do not have as its only therapeutical reference the accomplishment of the diagnosis and the reassignment surgery.

Transsexuality; Public health; Sexuality; Gender; Subjectivity


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