Where are the missing trans crips?

Abstract

The interactions between transidentity, impairment, and disability have been studied extensively in the last two decades, mostly thanks to innovative ideas and reflections from the neurodivergent communities, and often outside of academic circles. That said, physically impaired trans people are curiously often absent from the discussion — which may reflect a real-life statistical anomaly. While there are conflicting reports on the proportion of trans people, and on the proportion of physically impaired people, both communities make up a large part of the general population, and are numerous enough to have many sub-communities. However, their intersection is conspicuously absent compared to similarly sized groups. This seems to indicate that gender and physical impairments could affect each other in significant ways. This article seeks to explore three questions, the first being whether physically impaired trans people are indeed under-represented. Having presented multiple pieces of evidence attesting to this, we look at why that could be the case by providing a set of potential partial explanations. We start by exploring the possibility that they are present but invisible, before looking at whether they might legitimately just exist in fewer numbers due to specific societal constraints. Finally, we discuss the potential implications — most importantly, awareness of this topic could allow a small but significant number of people to regain a small amount of control and power over their own bodies.