I recently came across this article that talks about a relatively new phenomenon called “Transabled”: http://goo.gl/zstBhL .
Esentially, it’s about people who are not disabled who have a burning desire to become disabled and will resort to self-mutilation to achieve their goal.
You can imagine this has caused quite a stir in both the disability and able-bodied community. People with disabilities feel that these transabled individuals are stepping on their turf. People without disabilities view these individuals as mentally ill, or worse yet, trying to get a free ride, earning a disability income from the government.
Honestly, I could give a shit about any of that. My question would be do they really know what they’re getting into? Despite what people might think, having a disability is not as glamorous as the movies portray. It’s not all about fighting the good fight, striving for acceptance, and breaking down societal perceptions. We do those things because we have to, because without advocating for ourselves, we would literally be left to die in hospitals (perhaps that’s a bit extreme, but you get my point.)
There’s a lot of behind the scenes reality that goes into having a disability. First and foremost, most physical disabilities bring with them other side effects or related impairments. Sure, somebody who is paraplegic has no feeling below the waist and uses a manual wheelchair… Pretty sexy, so far! But what about pressure sores, uncontrollable bowels, and phantom pain. Not to mention the potential psychological effects that paralysis can have, especially if required later in life through accident.
Is that what transabled individuals are looking for? I would be interested to know what motivates them. And judging from the article above, it looks like the medical community is interested in that, as well.
Why would you want to make yourself a part of a minority group? Those of us who are in a minority group do so because that is our lot in life. For the most part, we don’t complain too much because it is our reality. But for someone to choose that path just doesn’t make sense to me. In this case, the non-disabled community will likely see you as mentally unwell, or a scam artist. The disabled community will not accept you because… well, some of the above and I don’t imagine a lot of us will respect your decision making process. This is of course assuming that the choice to be transabled is voluntary. There is a possibility that it is a psychological/neurological disorder, which would beg the question of whether or not it should be cured. But that’s a topic for another blog; look for it in the future, it might be called “Should all disabled people be cured, that’s a big-ass can of worms!”
All of my life I have had people of all ages asking me “what happened to you?” I suppose in this new social trend of transabilty the question should become “did you mean to do that?”
I’d love to know what you guys think, please comment below.