Transabled Vs. Transsexual

There are many similarities between people who have Body Integrity Identity Disorder and people who have Gender Identity Disorder (GID). In fact, Dr. First, the doctor who coined the term BIID explains how he came up with the term:

I specifically came up with this name in order to be parallel with the term “Gender Identity Disorder”, which I believe is at least conceptually related to BIID. ”Gender Identity Disorder” implies that there is a disorder in the establishment of gender identity. The name “BIID” assumes that there is an analogous function called “body integrity identity” and that it is disordered in BIID in the sense that it deviates from anatomical reality.

Many people use the comparison with the better known GID to explain BIID. We have heard it said that:

"If you take the typical story of a transsexual, and replace "gender" with "impairment", you'll pretty much get the typical story of the transabled individual."

Feelings of shame and guilt are common in both conditions. Difficulty in getting assistance from the medical community is also common in both condition, although the transsexual individual has more chance of getting the treatment they need. It took several decades for them to get to that point. There are also aspects of being ostracised by your own family in both situations. Yet another similarity is the concept of purging, which is done by both group of people.

One might argue that a significant difference between the two conditions is that it is a natural condition to be a man, or a woman, and as a result needing to "switch" gender can be explained logically, whereas there is no natural disabled condition: It is not genetic to be an amputee, or paralysed. But then, there are congenital conditions that cause people to be born without limbs, or paralysed. Studies have shown that the brain structure of transsexual individuals is generally closer to that of the gender they need to be, than to the gender of the body they were born with. There is no such evidence with transabled individuals. This does not prove that there is no congenital element to BIID, it simply means that there hasn't been enough study done on Body Integrity Identity Disorder.

For the point of view of someone who is both transabled and transsexual, see: A comparison between transsexuality and transableism

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