Steph's Place

Changing the Narrative - Trans Folk Are Disabled

Making the case why trans folk cannot live a normal cis life.

CONTENT WARNING - This article is highly controversial and may cause upset. It is designed to provoke thought & discussion.


Being trans is something none of us chooses. But it affects us for a vast portion of our lives and in my - and many others, all our lives.  

Being trans is also the launchpad for some trans folks to self-harm and sometimes ‘end it’ by their own hand. Around 25%-30% of trans people commit suicide stated the book 'Why Men Don't Listen and Women Can't Read Maps' - written by Alan & Barbara Pease. Often the very young - this statistic alone would suggest we are different.

After all, 25% of cis people do not take their own life, and if they did, we would all live in a very different and caring society.  In truth, the figure is lower - the trans folk suicide rate is around seven times higher than cisgender people according to a French government official. 

So, let me first quote you this statement from the UK’s most senior Judge – Baroness Hale, who sits in the Supreme Court.  Making in a Judgement on the 1st November 2017 said: - 

“Gender dysphoria is something completely different - the overwhelming sense that one has been born into the wrong body, with the wrong anatomy and the wrong physiology. Those of us who, whatever our occasional frustrations with the expectations of society or our own biology, are nevertheless quite secure in the gender identities with which we were born, can scarcely begin to understand how it must be to grow up in the wrong body and then to go through the long and complex process of adapting that body to match the real self.” 

The Judgement continued:

“People can be insensitive and even cruel; the evidence is that transphobic incidents are increasing, and that transgender people experience high levels of anxiety about this. It is also because of their deep need to live successfully and peacefully in their reassigned gender, something which non-transgender people can take for granted.” 

 You will note that I used in the first line, the word ‘sane.’  So how do we know trans people are sane?

Well, possibly some of us are not - but in general, we know this is the case because trans people are entirely accepted in many societies. In some cultures, trans people are near Gods. The problem of non-acceptance (and sometimes downright hatred) is a phenomenon in the western hemisphere – not in the east. 

Moreover, the World Health Organisation (WHO) has confirmed that trans folk are not mentally ill by taking us out of that mental health condition and creating a new term called “Conditions Related to Sexual Health.”

The WHO trans gender declaration of 2019 states: 

“Trans-related and gender diverse identities are not conditions of mental ill health and classifying them as such can cause enormous stigma. Inclusion of gender incongruence should ensure transgender people’s access to gender-affirming health care, as well as adequate health insurance coverage for such services. 

Recognition also acknowledges the links between gender identity, sexual behaviour, exposure to violence and sexually transmitted infections.

Legal gender recognition, represented through documents reflecting a person’s gender identity, is important for protection, dignity and health. Many countries in the WHO European Region impose a number of conditions on changing documents, including the requirement to undergo sterilisation. 

Human rights bodies conclude that these sterilisation requirements run counter to respect for bodily integrity, self-determination and human dignity, and can cause and perpetuate discrimination against transgender people.


Now let’s look at what a “disability” is, and I quote here from CDC the health department of the USA government: - 

A disability is any condition of the body or mind (impairment) that makes it more difficult for the person with the condition to do certain activities (activity limitation) and interact with the world around them (participation restrictions).

Although “people with disabilities” sometimes refers to a single population, this is actually a diverse group of people with a wide range of needs. Two people with the same type of disability can be affected in very different ways. Some disabilities may be hidden or not easy to see.

According to the World Health Organization, disability has three dimensions: 

  1. Impairment in a person’s body structure or function, or mental functioning; examples of impairments include loss of a limb, loss of vision or memory loss.
  2. Activity limitation, such as difficulty seeing, hearing, walking, or problem-solving.
  3. Participation restrictions in normal daily activities, such as working, engaging in social and recreational activities, and obtaining health care and preventive services. 


Put together these three pieces of very strong evidence we can conclude: 

  • Trans people have very complicated lives – our body parts do not match our gender identity. Indeed, Baroness Hale said as much.
  • Trans people, in general, are not mentally ill. The WHO confirms this
  • A disability includes “Participation restrictions in normal daily activities, such as working, engaging in social and recreational activities, and obtaining health care.” This is confirmed by the USA government and the WHO. 


So now I make the case that trans folk are 'disabled' – not in the sense that we cannot walk, see or hear – but in a sense, we cannot live a ‘normal’ cis life.  

Cis people are of course the majority - we are outnumbered by about 99 to 1. 

Diversity is part of life – I get that. But, while other species can change sex and still re-produce or give birth without a male, I would argue they are not driven to self-harm - and often suicide. This only happens in the west as a result of transphobia and lack of NHS care. 

Rates of suicide vary from country to country, but it should not be forgotten that many people who commit suicide have not come out – this being the very reason for committing suicide. 

But of the folk who do make a serious attempt to take their life and subsequently survive we do know trans folk are at least six times more likely to attempt suicide than cis folk.  

But we are not mentally ill. 

We often cannot integrate into society. We have to have “safe places.” Many trans people will not even come out of their homes in case they are “called out” or cannot “pass” successfully out in the street.   

Why? – because transphobia is rife in UK society. Trans folk can’t easily get jobs or even housing – many are homeless. We are disabled to “participate”.

Now let us add this all up.

  1. We cannot live a normal cis life.
  2. Our body parts don’t match up.
  3. We can’t participate in normal society – transphobes don’t let us. 
  4. Our government recognise we are here – they provide “health care” of sorts but cannot keep up with the demand; meaning we can’t get on with our lives. This adds to stress – again contributing to suicide.  

We are disabled. 

 To correct the error nature dealt us, we have to undergo and give up hope of achieving many things. Remember – we did not choose to be trans.

I can only speak for myself, but I had to surrender my girlhood, being a bride and most of important for me personally - give up being a mum.

To become a woman, I had to suffer a lot of mental & physical pain. I even had to learn to talk again – not a new language but a whole different feminine way of talking – different from what puberty forced on me.  

We are disabled. 

 And let us shout about this much more because the transphobes can certainly be transphobic but to discriminate against disabled folk – well, that is NOT COOL. 


CONTENT WARNING - This article is highly controversial and may cause upset. It is designed to provoke thought & discussion.

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