Transability and the Downfall of Society

The social web has been all aflutter for the past week, stirred up by a viral National Post article focused on the concept transability — people who believe they should be disabled and, in extreme cases, disable themselves to live out their preferred identity. Transability, more appropriately (in my opinion) known as Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), is not new — some studies on the topic go back well into the 1980s. BIID is also not new to the media either, as there’s a fascinating documentary about the subject from over a decade ago titled Whole (2003) which loosely inspired the odd Nick Stahl film, Quid Pro Quo (2008). The rise of BIID to mainstream frame, however, seems tethered to the transgendered movement, with many conservatives deploying this article as some sort of slippery slope warning that if you start letting people reassign their gender than logically the next step is people will begin demanding disabilities. The horror! Of course, things are not quite as simple as they might seem and this blog post hopes to explore some random thoughts I’ve been trying to gather in my head for the past few years.