I met Alice in a bar about a year ago. She was wearing a floral blouse and her blonde hair tumbled around her face in curls. Beside her, in my everyday uniform of jeans and t shirt, I felt distinctly unfeminine. Fortunately, my cheesy “Trust Me, I’m A Med Student” t shirt turned out to be the perfect icebreaker and Alice and I started talking. Our conversation quickly covered a broad range of topics, and Alice told me that until a few years ago, she had been a man. Surprised, I began asking her questions about her transition process, and we talked non-stop for the next two hours.
I thought of Alice when I read about the American Psychiatric Association’s plans for the fifth edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, or DSM 5. It is scheduled for publication in May, and it will no longer include