My disability is, for many, also a marker of identity. In the parlance of pop culture, I was “born in the wrong body.” In the words of the DSM, I have “evidence of a strong and persistent cross-gender identification.”. . . I realize that there are others in my situation who would shirk this description, and I am do not mean to imply that any transsexual or transgender individual is thereby disabled.
However, this is a physical condition for which I must constantly medicate myself and for which I’ve had significant surgeries. I live with the fear that my colleagues will discover my past history, which is a source of some not-insignificant anxiety.
While I’m sure that there are many trans folk who would object to the description of a trans body as a disability, and likewise that there are many disabled folk who would object along similar lines, this post encourages us to think carefully about what we classify as “disability” and which experiences are experiences of disability. I’m leaving comments open on this post for the time being, but I’d ask that everyone be courteous and kind. The policy at the Disabled Philosophers blog includes allowing people to report and interpret their own experiences. People may disagree with how to interpret that experience, but it’s imperative that we all be respectful in that disagreement.