As a Life Coach and Pastor, I thought I had heard it all. Quite honestly, it takes an awful lot to surprise me. I have had multiple people walk into my office, drop a bombshell and then search my face for some hint of judgment or criticism. As the old Ray Steven’s song goes, they “began to cry and then to confess to sins that would make a sailor blush with shame.” Despite all of that, however, I was recently thrown a curve ball and was indeed caught off-guard.
Just when I was beginning to believe that the world couldn’t get any crazier, I saw a post on Facebook that made me roll my eyes. I was convinced it was another Internet hoax or perhaps a piece of satire. Then I learned that it is in fact real. It is called transability.
Folk who identify as “transabled” ostensibly feel alienated from, or trapped inside, their fully functional bodies. Some claim to feel like a phony if they do not somehow accommodate their imagined disability of blindness, deafness, lameness, etc. This incongruity has reportedly caused one man to cut off his hand with a power tool and others to have their legs surgically amputated. Many others simply wear braces, use crutches, etc., even though there is no physical reason for them.
The condition, better known as Body Integrity Identity Disorder (BIID), is currently classified as a mental disorder, but efforts are underway to mainstream the condition in the same way that transgenderism has been. The argument is difficult to pass off. If a person who feels like a woman trapped inside a man’s body is provided legal recognition, and insurance funding, to have his body surgically altered, why should a person who feels like they are a disabled person trapped inside a healthy person’s body not be afforded the same considerations?
Opinions run the entire spectrum of possible viewpoints. Many transgenders feel that transabled people are trying to horn in on their movement for money and recognition. Others think that the whole thing is preposterous and that transabled folk are faking. Still others believe that people with transability should be given full protection and funding to live their lives and carry out their inner desires however they see fit.
Before plowing forward, perhaps we should consider where the line is. If transabled people are allowed to have body parts surgically removed or maimed, should we also consider teen cutting just another lifestyle choice? After all, they feel like they are releasing pain and hurt that is bottled up inside of them.
On the other hand, maybe we should consider a radical approach. What if we were to recognize, sympathize, and seek to understand the emotional devastation that has lead people to hate themselves and who they are. What if we prayed with them, journeyed with them and helped them understand that God doesn’t make mistakes? He loves them just the way he created them. Everything that detracts from that, is a result of the fall, and Jesus came to redeem that.