Meet The ‘Transabled’: Able-Bodied People Who Identity As Disabled

Alex Griswold Media Reporter
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Ahead of the upcoming Congress of the Humanities and Social Sciences, Canadian paper National Post ran a story on “transabled” individuals, people who identify as disabled even though there’s nothing wrong with them. (RELATED: Utah High School Crowns State’s Very First Transgender Prom Queen)

“We define 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,” Quebec-based academic Alexandre Baril said in an interview. “The person could want to become deaf, blind, amputee, paraplegic. It’s a really, really strong desire.”

The Post also interviewed St. Thomas University professor Clive Baldwin, who has studied “transability” for years and claims to have identified 37 people who are transabled. “One person we have spoken to wants to become blind, and another wants a penectomy, the removal of his penis,” he said.

Author Sarah Boesveld draws the obvious parallel to transgenderism. “As the public begins to embrace people who identify as transgender, the trans people within the disability movement are also seeking their due, or at very least a bit of understanding in a public that cannot fathom why anyone would want to be anything other than healthy and mobile.”

Baldwin also drew the same parallel. “Society needs to appreciate that however strange it sounds, it isn’t beyond the pale to allow people to align their body with how they feel they ought to.”

[h/t National Post]

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