• Rachel Gross

Why "Transabled" People are Problematic

I never thought someone would actually CHOOSE to be disabled.

It's 2019, and life is getting crazier by the day, and I don't just mean because of who's in the White House. Although, they sure are contributing to the craziness. Anyway, the other day while I was casually scrolling through Facebook, I saw one of my friends shared an article. At first, I scrolled past it, but less than a second later I was like, "Hold up...what the fuck did I just see?"

So, I scrolled back up and, yup, I saw what I thought I saw. Now, you must be wondering what the heck I saw. It was an article titled, "People Are Becoming Disabled By Choice And Calling Themselves 'Transabled'." Yes, you read that right. Are you feeling confused? Angry? Appalled, maybe? Cuz I was feeling all of these. I've seen something online about this in the past but never paid any mind to it because I just assumed it was satire, but this time I clicked on it and read it.

Basically, this article talks about two people. Before I go into detail about what this article is about, let me give you the definition of transabled:

"those who identify as people with disabilities and often undergo painful illegal surgeries to amputate themselves and remove a PROPERLY functioning part of their bodies and if they are unable to afford it or find a doctor who is willing to risk their career to do so, they self-harm and hurt themselves, often amputating their own body parts because it brings them 'pleasure' and 'happiness'."

The first person featured in this article is a 30-year-old woman from North Carolina named Jewel Shuping. She's blind. Obviously, as you can probably guess from the theme of this blog post, she isn't blind due to some disease or genetic mutation. She's blind because she wanted to be. This woman was so desperate to be blind that she risked her own life by dropping drain cleaner into both of her eyes...with the help of a doctor, nonetheless! (I hope he lost his license.)

The second person is Chloe Jennings-White. She is a 59-year-old woman from the UK who identifies as a paraplegic, when in reality she is 100% mobile. She wears braces on her legs and uses a manual wheelchair to get around. The best part is that she is an avid skier and admits that she skis very aggressively, along with doing other rather risky activities in hopes of one day getting injured and losing her legs . "Something in my brain tells me my legs are not supposed to work. Having any sensation in them just feels wrong.", she says. She is in the process of trying to find a doctor who is willing to fulfill her dream of being paralyzed.

Preposterous.

Both of these women have been diagnosed with BIID ( Body Integrity Identity Disorder) by psychologists. BIID is a psychiatric disorder that makes people feel as if they are in the wrong bodies. However, it is not recognized as an illness, although, I think it should be. I am no expert on mental health or mental illness, but these people clearly have something going on, and they need help. Maybe it stems from some other underlying, undetected, or untreated, mental illness.

When I first read the article, I was confused, angry, appalled, all of the emotions I mentioned in the beginning of this post. As someone who has lived their whole life with a physical disability, I just can't grasp the concept of anyone wanting to become disabled on purpose. They think it's fun and cute to be disabled, but it's not. I mean, we can be fun and cute, but that's because we have awesome personalities, not because of our disabilities! Having a disability means going through life facing challenges at every corner, every stop, every new endeavor. They don't know what it's like to not be taken seriously, to be doubted 99% of the time, to have people infantilize you because they think you must be dumb since you're in a wheelchair, right? They don't know what it's like not to be able to care for yourself, not to be able to work or earn money, not to know whether that hot guy is checking you out or if he's just staring at you cuz he thinks you're weird.

They don't know.

They don't know.

They don't know.

And I don't understand why they would want to.

Thoughts?

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