You’ve heard (maybe too much recently) about Transgendered men and women, but here is the latest: Trans-Abled. (And what’s with all the hypens anyway?)
When Ottawa resident, Jason (Last name undisclosed), cut off his right arm with a “very sharp power tool,” he let everyone believe it was an accident. But, that wasn’t the case. No, the man who now calls himself One Hand Jason, removed his arm purposefully. Yes, on purpose.
Jason had for months tried different means of cutting and crushing the limb that never quite felt like his own, training himself on first aid so he wouldn’t bleed to death, even practicing on animal parts sourced from a butcher.“My goal was to get the job done with no hope of reconstruction or re-attachment, and I wanted some method that I could actually bring myself to do,” he told the body modification website ModBlog.
His goal was to become disabled.
People like Jason have been classified as ‘‘transabled’’ — feeling like imposters in their bodies, their arms and legs in full working order.
“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,” says Alexandre Baril, a Quebec born academic who will present on “transability” at this week’s Congress of the Social Sciences and Humanities at the University of Ottawa.
“The person could want to become deaf, blind, amputee, paraplegic. It’s a really, really strong desire.”
Researchers in Canada are trying to better understand how transabled people think and feel. Clive Baldwin, a Canada Research Chair in Narrative Studies who teaches social work at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, N.B., has interviewed 37 people worldwide who identify as transabled.
Just when you thought you’d heard it all, right?