A number of people are intentionally injuring themselves in an attempt to become disabled as they feel like imposters in their bodies if their arms and legs in full working order.
It’s called being ‘transabled’ and according to one man, who cut off his right arm with a ‘very sharp power tool’, the goal is to feel more comfortable in your own body by becoming disabled.
The man, known as ‘one armed Jason’ spent months researching ways to remove his arm training himself in first aid to prevent himself from bleeding to death and practising on animal parts sourced from a butcher.
Jason isn’t alone though in this mindset according Aexandre Baril, a Quebec born academic who lectures on ‘transability’.
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.
The person could want to become deaf, blind, amputee, paraplegic. It’s a really, really strong desire.
Meanwhile researchers in Canada who are working on trying to understand how transabled people think and feel have interviewed 37 people worldwide who identify as transabled.
About half of those identified come from Germany and Switzerland and most crave an amputation or paralysis, though they’ve also identified one person who wants his penis removed and another who wants to be blind.
A lot of transabled people allegedly arrange ‘accidents’ to achieve their desired body type which can be potentially dangerous for those seeking to change their body.
The team explained that participants in the study frequently draw parallels to transgender people who feel they’re not in the right body believe it should be treated in a similar way.
Clive Baldwin, a Canada Research Chair in Narrative Studies who teaches social work at St. Thomas University in Fredericton has suggested that amputation may help them in the same way cosmetic surgery helps transgender people attain their ideal bodies.
The transabled community however has met some some resistance from both the disabled community who see these people as trying to steal resources from the community or romanticising disability reality.
Meanwhile the transgender community distances itself because its working hard to de-pathologize what’s known as ‘gender dysphoria,’ and believe that this may hurt their cause.