By Natalie Bogdanski
If you know anyone who has a disability, you probably know the circumstances behind how they got the disability. Whether it was from birth, an accident, sports injury, or something else. You might be surprised to find out, though, that some people who are disabled have actually become disabled by choice, and they have a name for it: transabled.
Transabled people claim that, much like transgendered people, they are trapped in the wrong body. What’s different between transabled and transgendered people is that transabled people feel that the body they are supposed to have should have some kind of physical disability or ailment.
If you’d like to read more about it, here’s the scoop.
Alexandre Baril, a professor who has previously taught feminist, gender and sexuality studies, defines transability as “the desire or the need for a person identified as able-bodied by other people to transform his or her body to obtain a physical impairment.”
Transability is a term which able-bodied individuals who seek physical ailment use to classify themselves.
Transabled people desire to obtain some sort of disability. These disabilities can range anywhere from paralysis to limb amputation.
Transability is directly related to Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID). It is also commonly referred to as Amputee Identity Disorder.
BIID is a psychological disorder in which a healthy person feels that they are meant to be disabled.
People who have this psychological disorder sometimes even physically harm themselves (i.e. blinding themselves) to be considered disabled.
Scientists believe that transabled people most likely suffer from a type of neurological problem which causes them to want to be disabled, while many others argue that it is a mental disorder.
Clive Baldwin, a Canada Research Chair in Narrative Studies and professor of social studies at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, recently interviewed a total of 37 people who claimed to be transabled.
According to the National Post, Clive’s interviews revealed that most transabled people desire paralysis or amputation and that some people even create “accidents” to become disabled.
A much-publicized example of a transabled person is Chloe Jennings-White, who made headlines around the world in 2013.
Chloe lives her life in a wheelchair despite the fact that both of her legs work perfectly. She claims that living her life in a wheelchair gives her some sort of “psychological relief.”
“Something in my brain tells me my legs are not supposed to work. Having any sensation in them just feels wrong,” she told the Daily Mail.
Chloe also admitted that she often fantasizes about getting into devastating car accidents where both her legs are severely damaged.
She even went so far as to seek out a doctor who would cut her sciatic and femoral nerves, which are nerves that connect the nervous system to the leg, extend the knee, and also provide sensation to the front and inner thigh, shin, and foot.
Chloe could not afford the expensive procedure and did not go through with it.
Research is still being done about transability and transabled people, and many people are responding in outrage. What do you think?