Netizens appalled by transability (Image via Twitter)

Is Transabled a real thing? Definition explored amid concerning trend

Several disabled people worldwide can express the mental and physical difficulties they face following their life-changing injuries, but it does not seem to affect those who are transabled.

Some people have come forward sharing that they choose to be disabled and live their lives hooked to a machine, rather than experience a functional life. Netizens have since taken to social media to express rage against those who are transabled.


The impairment a transabled person wishes to have can take the form of anything between paralysis to amputation. Sources claim that being transabled falls under the Body Integrity Identity Disorder umbrella, which is a psychological disorder that manifests in healthy people who wish to be physically impaired.

What does it mean to be transabled?

According to Professor Alexandre Baril, transability refers to"

"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.”

Researchers continue to be on the fence on whether this is a neurological disorder or a mental disorder.

It has been reported that those who are transabled keep their identity to themselves and rarely share their feelings. Some who are disabled draw parallels to the experience of transgender people. They claim that similar to trans people, they feel like they are initially not in the right body.

Clive Baldwin, a Canadian Research Chair in Narrative Studies who teaches at St. Thomas University, revealed that he found most of the people who are transabled are men. However, it is not always limited to one gender.


Transabled people share their life story

In 2013, Chloe Jennings-White went viral on social media after revealing that she wanted to be permanently paralyzed. In an interview with ABC4, she revealed that she wanted to be disabled ever since she was nine years old and tried to paralyze herself by riding her bike off a stage but ended up with only a few bruises.

As years progressed, she continued to push herself to the limit in hopes of disabling herself. In an interview, she revealed:

“Doing any activity that brings a chance of me becoming paraplegic gives me a sense of relief from the anxiety caused by the BIID.”

Paraplegia refers to the impairment of the motor or sensory function of the lower part of the body. In Jennings-White's case, she has been using leg braces to feel paraplegic. However, she can just take off her leg braces and still have fully functioning legs.

Jennings-White has since revealed that she is hoping to get her sciatic and femoral nerves cut so that her legs do not function.

In another interview, Jason, who has been given the nickname of One Hand Jason revealed that he cut his right arm with a “very sharp power tool” and let everyone believe that it was an accident. He said on the website ModBlog:

“My goal was to get the job done with no hope of reconstruction or reattachment, and I wanted some method that I could actually bring myself to do.”

Netizens react to transability

Internet users were disheartened to hear about people wishing to be disabled as it has devastating effects on one’s life. Some also expressed rage against those who were transabled. Many noted that being disabled cannot be turned into a “trend.”

Being transabled is the most offensive and disturbing thing I've heard off. Seriously whats wrong w people
transabled is a complete mockery to anyone who is born with a disability…
No way people are intentionally getting into accidents to seriously hurt/damage themselves calling it ‘transabled’ ?? Who what where and why wtf
What is this I’m seeing bout people getting disabled by choice n calling it transabled
@tragicworldapp People don't actually realize how hard it is to live with a disability. It's NOT a trend. It's NOT something that 'makes you feel special', it can make your life EXCEPTIONALLY harder than it needs to be.
@tragicworldapp this is just blackface for handicapped people
@tragicworldapp You mean they’re trying to get attention by hurting themselves
@tragicworldapp Guys being disabled isn't an identity it's a medical condition. Can choose to be "transneurotypical" and not take my medication anymore? No.

Transability was added to the appendix section of the DSM-5 in 2013 under “emerging measures and models.”

Edited by
Karishma Rao
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