People who want to be disabled on purpose refer to themselves as ‘transabled’


Having a disability was never a choice for people who have lived their lives with it. It could either be a condition they were born with, from a traumatic experience, or a life-changing accident. Given the chance, anyone with a disability would do everything to live a normal and fully functional life — a life without being referred to as disabled.

In an ideal world, nobody would be living their lives chained to a wheelchair or hooked on machines. But apparently, in this appalling reality we’re living in, some perfectly healthy human beings want to be disabled.

Chloe Jennings-White is probably the most notable among those who consider themselves to be a “transabled” person. According to a report from the National Post, Alexandre Baril (a feminist, gender and sexuality studies professor) 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.”

Chloe Jennings-White. via Daily Mail

Transabled people feel like their physical body is disintegrated with what their mind identifies or understands themselves to be. They feel like certain parts or functions of their bodies do not belong to themselves. Transability is said to fall under Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID, also known as Amputee Identity Disorder), a psychological disorder wherein healthy individual are known to physically harm themselves in order to be deemed disabled.

They tend to “arrange” accidents or create self-inflicting harm such as cutting their own limbs, blind themselves, or driving themselves into a crash that would leave them paralyzed. They can go from wanting to be blind, deaf, amputee, or in Chloe’s case, a paraplegic.

Paraplegia is a motor or sensory function impairment of the lower extremities and Chloe uses leg braces to get that paraplegic feel, or to be paralyzed from the waist down. The thing is, unlike those who really suffer and were clinically diagnosed with paraplegia, Chloe can just take off her leg braces and be back on her feet — with full function of her legs.

via HuffPost / Laurentiu Garofeanu / Barcroft USA

“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 is also reported to be looking for a doctor who would sever specific nerves connected on her limbs that would leave her paralyzed from waist down. She shared on HuffPost UK that doing any activity that gives her the chance of becoming paraplegic gives her a sense of relief from the anxiety caused by the BIID.

Many people, particularly those with actual disabilities, condemn transability becoming a “thing” these days. To them it is an insult to those who are suffering from conditions that made them wheelchair-bound, changed their lives with their body not being able to do things it can before, and have long fought societal norms pertaining to people with disabilities.

While many may argue that transability is nothing but adding insult to real injuries, others counter that it is important to recognize that it is a disorder — one that a person with it has no control of.