One of my favorite quotes from Ravi Zacharias deals with relativism. He writes in his book The Real Face of Atheism: “With no fact as a referent, what is normative is purely a matter of preference.”
Taken to its logical conclusion, his argument says that if there is no common set of standards, one cannot judge another because of one’s own personal standards. If we all live relatively, there are several billion sets of rules all working at once, and to look at someone else, and tell them that their personal truth—as they call it—is lesser than yours, is simply illogical.
The transgender movement has gained tremendous traction in our culture, and it’s been topped off by Bruce Jenner becoming Caitlyn Jenner. Bruce Jenner’s transformation has caused a social tsunami. There are those who argue that trans-identity is simply gender dysmorphia, and should be treated psychologically, and with medication.
However, as the trans movement has developed, proponents of the dysmorphia argument have been shouted down. How dare we tell someone that what they feel is incorrect! How dare we tell them what gender they truly are!
Well, now there’s another trans-identity being talked about. These people are called “Transabled.”
Alexandre Baril 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.”
I’m sure there are already people decrying transability as completely unrelated to transgenderism. They’ll call it apples and oranges, and label anyone who disagrees with them bigots, thus ending the argument—well, that’s what they want.
tf is transability.. Can cis straight white able bodied people seriously not handle having the “spotlight” for once
— reed maxidilf (@renkimuras) June 3, 2015
But are the two any different? Let’s examine the parallels.
Transgender individuals feel out of place in their own body; transabled people feel that their body is incorrect as well. Both share a sense of misplacement relating to their body that cannot be fixed without surgical and medical means.
Both conditions have remarkably similar starting points.
The now-accepted treatment for transgender individuals is hormone therapy and surgery. This surgery takes male or female genitalia—in addition to numerous other body parts—and surgically alters them, thus making the person feel correct, making them feel that their mind now matches their body.
Transabled people seek similar results; if they believe they should be an amputee, they have a limb removed from their body, thus making them feel correct, that what they feel to be true finally matches their appearance.
People may argue that people are born with the incorrect brain—that there are distinct male and female brains. They may argue that an organ as complex as the human brain is prone to disturbances that can lead to impairments, such as someone developing the body of a male with the mind of a female—and they may be correct. However, whether or not they are correct is irrelevant. The argument relates to the treatment for the condition, not the cause.
They will then argue that physical impairment is not a natural state of being, like being male or female; they will say that it’s not the human body’s intended state of being. But there are millions born with physical disabilities; there are those born without arms; there are those born paralyzed. These people are just as naturally impaired as gender-confused people.
If one is impaired, both are impaired. If one is mendable with surgery, the other is mendable with surgery. If one is a legitimized identity, the other must also be a legitimized identity. One cannot argue in favor of gender reassignment surgery and then turn around to advocate against surgical amputation or surgical paralysis.
If one argues that body dysmorphia, now being called transability, is a mental impairment that should be treated psychologically, they cannot then say that gender dysmorphia is any different. They are the same.
One cannot judge another based on their own truth, as it belongs only to them. So, if you’re celebrating Caitlyn Jenner, don’t you dare turn around and judge a transabled person.
And the ball keeps rolling.