Rainbow Flag Syndication: Camarillo

Over the past several months and years, the transgender community has been fighting for rights in the United States and around the globe, particularly when it comes to the right for women and girls to compete in sports according to their gender identity. But the entire transgender community took a huge step back in Peru.

According to The Daily Telegraph, the Peruvian government has officially categorized transgender and intersex people as “mentally ill.”

The health ministry said the decree was the only way Peru’s public health services could “guarantee full coverage of medical attention for mental health,” but Percy Mayta-Tristán, a medical researcher at Lima’s Scientific University of the South, argues that this could be very damaging to the LGBT community given that the “treatment” for being transgender could eventually include conversion therapy.

“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 said according to The Daily Telegraph.

So while transgender people are fighting for the right to compete in sports in some countries, they’re fighting for a valid existence in others, like Peru.

[The Daily Telegraph]