By Jonathon Van Maren
When transgenderism began to go mainstream, many conservative commentators began to ask reasonable questions. If a man could become a woman and a woman could become a man simply by saying so — by self-identifying as what they felt they were or what they would like to be — then how could this not apply more broadly? Could someone, for example, decide to identify as black even if they were white? Could they be “trans-species” and announce that they were actually something other than human? How far would society have to go in universally affirming the weird self-actualization exercise of the deluded and trendy?
These questions were dismissed as stupid and — worse! — disrespectful to the legitimate struggles and lived experiences of transgender people. Despite those who pointed out that if the biological boundaries of sex could be traversed at will there was no reason to assume that any other category would hold once the question of who we are was a question of how we feel, the elites embraced the idea that the Binary Was Bad. Occasional disconcerting examples of how these premises could be applied in other situations — like the case of Rachel Dolezal, the white woman who identified as black for years — were dismissed as crackpot oddities.
But that, as they say, was then, and this is now. The premises of gender ideology having been adopted, it is slowly but surely becoming more common for people to identify as different races, as animals, aliens, or made-up creatures. And the “transabled” movement — which I first wrote about in this space back in 2015 — is beginning to attract attention. This movement is made up of people who feel themselves to be disabled but are in fact physically healthy. Many of them wish to have a limb removed or to be otherwise mutilated so that their appearance and ability will match how they “feel”; a medical community which has embraced the practice of cutting off penises and surgically removing healthy breasts for the gender dysphoric doesn’t have any compelling grounds to refuse.