What’s the Difference Between Transgender, Transabled, Transracial, Transspecies and Transage?

It’s easy to affirm, but love doesn’t always do what’s easy.

By Michael Brown Published on February 2, 2018

Thanks to Bruce “Caitlyn” Jenner and many others, we’re all familiar with the concept of being transgender. But what about being transabled or transracial or transspecies or transage? Are these all valid and real? Or are all of them — including being transgender — based primarily on mental or emotional disorders?

The question of being “transage” — referring to someone who feels he or she is a child trapped in an adult’s body — was recently in the news with this shocking headline: “TRANS-AGE: Pedophile Charged With Abusing 3 Girls Says He’s A 9-Year-Old Trapped In Man’s Body.”

Putting aside the inexcusable nature of this man’s alleged crimes, he’s hardly the first to make this claim. Consider the story of a married man with 7 children who now lives as a 6-year-old girl with his new adoptive “parents.”

Then there are those who identify as “transabled.” This headline explains: “Becoming disabled by choice, not chance: ‘Transabled’ people feel like impostors in their fully working bodies.”

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Yes, people like this are tormented by their healthy bodies, feeling the compulsion to be crippled or without a hand or blind. Some have even frozen a foot until it had to be amputated, sawed off their legs (literally) or blinded themselves, all in a desire to find inner peace and wholeness. And once the gory job is done, they are thrilled with their radical choice.

Then there are those who identity as transracial. Wikipedia defines this as individuals “who claim to have a racial identity that differs from their birth race,” like Rachel Dolezal.

And then there are those who identify as transspecies, like the young woman who lives her life as a cat.

A story by Daniel Greenfield on Frontpage Magazine dating back to 2013 addressed this growing phenomenon. But, as Greenfield noted, the transgender community was not too happy with this.

He wrote,

Like most newly minted civil rights groups, Trannies are intolerant of Transpecies Americans accusing them of only pretending to think that they’re cats and playing the old, “How dare you compare your pain to my pain and your imaginary identity to my imaginary identity” game.

Where is the Test?

And herein lies the problem. There is no more a test to prove that someone is (or is not) transgender than there’s a test to prove that someone is (or is not) transabled, transracial, transage or transspecies. Where is the test? When are detailed neurological studies required before someone has sex-change surgery? When are chromosomal tests required before a child is put on puberty blockers or given hormones?

If it is far from ideal to mutilate healthy body parts to accommodate someone who identifies as transabled, then it is far from ideal to do the same for someone who identifies as transgender.

I’ve read transgender blog posts about people identifying as transspecies. On the one hand, the transgender community wants to be compassionate, recognizing the validity of what others perceive as reality. At the same time, not a few of them said, “But there’s a big difference, since some of us really do have male brains in female bodies, but no human being has a leopard’s brain or a wolf’s brain.”

But that raises the question: Where’s the test? How do we differentiate the case of someone who identifies as transabled? What’s the difference between a mind map telling someone that their left hand shouldn’t be there, and someone who believes she’s a woman trapped in a man’s body?

Insanity as Identity

Greenfield had this to say:

Insanity. It’s not just a mental illness. It’s also an identity. Men in dresses claim that gender is in the mind, not in the body. If you think you’re a woman, then you are a woman. What used to be a minor form of eccentric insanity has now become educational policy in schools.

But why stop at gender when you can also do species? There are people who believe that their true identity is that of an animal. And who is to say that species isn’t in the mind, just like gender is in the mind?

This isn’t just a thought-experiment or satire. It’s reality.

Species dysphoria is the equivalent of Gender dysphoria. Mentally ill persons with gender dysphoria are fashionably diagnosed with Gender Identity Disorder. There is as of yet no Species Identity Disorder, but that is no doubt coming.

And, he notes, like those who identify as transgender, “Transpecies Americans create special pronouns for themselves and insist that refusing to pretend that they’re cats or wolves is a hate crime.”

Love Doesn’t Do What’s Easy

Do I write this to mock those who identify as transabled or transgender? Quite the contrary.

I write this to ask what makes transgender identity different from these other, deeply perceived identities, some of which have been documented to produce deep personal pain.

And if we can agree that it is far from ideal to mutilate healthy body parts to accommodate someone who identifies as transabled, then it is far from ideal to do the same for someone who identifies as transgender.

And if we can agree that it is far from loving to affirm someone’s false sense of reality — like Rachel Dolezal — than we can agree to continue to work towards finding positive cures for transgenderism rather than affirming Bruce as Caitlyn.

It’s easy to affirm, but love doesn’t always do what’s easy. This is a call for sanity as much as a call for love.

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  • v0xCAB

    I think this is all pretty rationally thought out — unlike the doctrine of affirming everyone (or at least everyone we like) in whatever “reality” they desire to affirm. Reality is objective not subjective humanly speaking. Of course Reality is whatever the One who created it says it is — and that’s neither you or me.

  • All the examples above fit into a larger category which can be described as “transanity.” This broader grouping seems to be growing steadily. They feel they’re not crazy, but they really are insane. I say this as a person who has my own mental health difficulties (depression), and has relatives who have had even more.

    The transinsane people fit into two categories. The more severe is those who have been diagnosed and are being prescribed medications. However they stop and refuse to resume taking their meds. They account for a substantial proportion of the homelessness population.

    The second category is people who are well-enough connected with reality at a basic level to adequately function in society. However their ideas are so bizarre and are becoming so widespread that they are becoming a threat to the rights of the rest of us. Substantial concessions are being made to their follies through legislation and governmental policy edicts.

    The transgender community is currently the most prominent subcategory. Their strong motivation and high activity levels gives them a lot more clout than their low numbers should merit. The transanity subcategories also coalesce in solidarity with each other for political action, which adds to their disproportionate influence.

  • GLT

    Strange as it may seem to some this phenomenon is a logical result of the wide spread acceptance of the evolutionary narrative. If, as evolution teaches, we are the result of descent from a single common ancestor and this descent is evidenced by vestigial leftovers from our pre-human past why would anyone then doubt some individuals may come to the conclusion they are transpecies? After all, if we can point to the appendix as a left over from our evolutionary ancestors or to ‘tails’ on babies as an avatar from our pre-human existence, why would we question that someone may actually have the mind of a species other than a human?

    • The evolutionary paradigm works both ways. If homosexuality is genetic, it’s pretty hard to see how it would increase the survival of that trait in the population. It’s been argued that “gay uncles” could make the offspring of their brothers and sisters substantially more likely to survive. It would have to, in order to more than compensate for reductions in their own. However a glance at pictures from a gay rights parade might raise doubts about that hypothesis.

  • Dant e

    I wonder whether many of them if not the majority are in fact not really suffering mental/psychological illnesses but are simply in a fairly extreme state of moral depravity and in conjunction with a societal moral depravity level such that it encourages and results in the current increase in these issues. All this a result of moving away from Biblical value and thinking.

  • gong yeh

    Recently when I read Isaiah 14, it occurred to me that the evil one, who is supposed to be the most powerful and intelligent angel, somehow came up with the most absurd notion “…I will raise my throne above the stars of God”. It should have been clear to Satan that as a creature he had no chance of defeating his creator. His very being is contingent on God’s sustaining power. But his pride blinded him to this simple fact. So it seems to me that one of the effects of sin is a damaged intellect.
    Now in 1 John 5:19 we are reminded that “…that the whole world is under the control of the evil one”. What we are seeing in society today is exactly what’s said in Romans 1.
    If there is one thing I can learn from the evil one, it is evil works relentlessly 24/7! All this insanity should compel us believers to take every opportunity to share the gospel of Jesus with everyone who’s in our sphere of influence. Pray fervently for God’s kingdom of light to come into every human heart. That’s our only hope.

  • Paul

    What’s the difference between mental illness, mental illness, mental illness and mental illness?

  • tz1

    The error is simple and was often pointed out, e.g. in Abolition of Man where Lewis said Magic and Technology were of a kind in that they were techniques of forcing nature to adapt to Man’s wishes, instead of adapting Man to nature (as science, philosophy, or religion do).

    One of the more humorous pushbacks was against CNN’s “This is an apple” ad, where they deride those who would call an apple a banana.

    But CNN itself does so with transgenders. If an apple wears a yellow skin and has appeal, and “identifies” as a banana, does CNN call it an apple or banana.

    (Here in the real world, Bradley and Bruce Bull haven’t become Chelsea or Caitlyn Cow, they are steers on estrogen. Farmers have to deal with nature lest the crops or livestock die, so can tell the difference between chickens, cows, mares, and capons, steers, and geldings).

    Either we want humans with minds (I’d say adults but now kids that can’t drink or drive or not go to school can apparently “choose” their gender) to use them to adapt TO nature, including their gender, or we have to all live within everyone elses hallucinations and delusions.

  • calduncan

    They’re all telling God, “You made a mistake.”

    That’s one argument you cannot win.

    • So He deliberately makes Intersex people, and those who naturally change sex due to 3BHSD, 17BHSD, 5ARD or other similar syndromes?

      Moreover He makes infants with Tays-Sachs syndrome, whose brains start turning into pudding after age 3 months? And does this deliberately?

      • Kevin Carr

        What is to be understood is that we live in a fallen world, these things are not what was intended. The Trans gendered issue seems to have arisen more recently. Read the account of Trans regret, these people need more in the lines of counseling than affirmation. Some of these things are being done to four year old children. If a person is anorexic or bulimic, we don’t affirm what they are thinking they are told to or referred to help.

        • swordfish

          “we live in a fallen world, these things are not what was intended.”

          The world can turn out differently than God intended even though he’s omnipotent?

          • GPS Daddy

            Hmmm, why would that be, swordfish? You’ve been here long enough you should be able to answer that question.

          • Kevin Carr

            He gave us free will, he didn’t want robots, we had to be free to choose him or to disobey. Things were “very good” for Adam and Eve. Once they chose to disobey we all ended up with a fallen nature and the creation itself fell.

          • GPS Daddy

            Kevin, swordfish has been on this site long enough that swordfish should be able to answer that even if swordfish does not accept it.

          • swordfish

            Adam and Eve never existed. Genetic research has determined that the number of humans has never fallen below 10,000 individuals. That aside, God “didn’t want robots”, but then punished everyone for one person disobeying him?

          • Kevin Carr

            GPS, you are correct, thanks for the reminder.

          • Kelly B

            You must not have kids of your own.

          • swordfish

            As it happens, I have kids and cats. I don’t see how that’s relevant to my comment about God’s omnipotence?

        • “The Trans gendered issue seems to have arisen more recently”

          Certainly it’s only been given publicity in the US in the last 60 years. It existed before then, just hadn’t been used as a political issue.

          That famous clip of Nazis burning books in the 30s? The books were from a research institute on the subject, some of the manuscripts over a century old, but most of the scientific research having been done since 1880. Just as most of the work on quantum physics was done by European rather than American scientists of the time.

          The Hijra in India have been known for 3 millennia. The Gallae of Ancient Rome from centuries before Christ. One has to be careful as these concepts don’t match exactly what we think of as Transgender, neither do original nations concepts of Winkte, Two Spirit, or Polynesian ones of Wakawahini, Fakaleiti etc.

          But close enough. It’s because it’s a physiological issue that it has always existed, and in all cultures worldwide. Sometimes revered, sometime persecuted, sometimes just accepted along with other differences in eye, hair or skin colour, no great drama.

      • GPS Daddy

        >>So He deliberately makes Intersex people

        I can understand why someone who does not know the bible make such a statement. It’s also understandable why someone would have this position. But you need to go deeper than this. You need to ask yourself the question “is this the way life should be”? While your asking yourself that question in inter-sexed issues also ask that question as a whole. Is this life the way is should be? There is really just two options: yes or no. Neither of these answers accommodates your complaint.

        • I’m a monster of arrogance and ego. But even I don’t feel comfortable telling, no, *commanding* the Almighty as to what he must or must not do.

          Should there only be two sexes? Should penguins, being birds of the sea rather than the biblical birds of the air and fish of the sea, exist? What about amphibia? What about colony organisms with 3 or more sexes, such as ants, termites, bees, and in the mammalian kingdom, naked mole rats? What about fish that change sex, such as Clownfish?

          Are penguins and frogs products of the fall? If not, just perhaps there is more diversity in Creation than a narrow and Pharisaic reading of a 17th century document would imply. It’s certainly not cut and dried.

          • GPS Daddy

            Well, Zoe_Brain, since you are responding to a computer post I’m going to make the assumption that you are of the human species. This means that you are not a:

            ant, termite, or bee,
            naked mole rat, or a

            You are human. Humans have two sexes. Humans cannot change their sex. You are of the species that is “special”. All life is special but humans belong to the royal class. ALL humans belong to the royal class of life. This is called human exceptionalism. This means that your value is WAY beyond an ant or a clownfish.

            >>Are penguins and frogs products of the fall?

            good question. Since I was not their I cannot definitively answer this. Let me ask you this: have the law of physics ever changed? Our sciences today assume that they have not. How can you validate that assumption?

          • ” Humans cannot change their sex.”

            Science 1974 Dec 27; 186 (4170): 1213-5

            In an isolated village of the southwestern Dominican Republic, 2% of the live births were in the 1970’s, guevedoces …
            These children appeared to be girls at birth, but at puberty these ‘girls’ sprout muscles, testes, and a penis. For the rest of their lives they are men in nearly all respects. Their underlying pathology was found to be a deficiency of the enzyme, 5-alpha Reductase.

            That’s 5ARD. 17BHSD has similar but not quite as complete effects. 3BHSD can cause a change in either direction, though usually doesn’t after birth.

            “There are more things in Heaven and Earth, Horatio, than are dreamt of in your philosophie..:”

          • HazumuOsaragi

            [H]umans belong to the royal class. ALL humans belong to the royal class of life. This is called human exceptionalism.

            How many years Before Trump (BT) have you been yearning to tell this truth without self-censoring because you might get shushed and told you had to be ‘politically correct’? No, really. I’m curious.

  • manwithnoname

    If I believe I can fly and go up on to the roof of a tall building and leap off, what is bound to happen according to reality? Who would actually believe that I can fly? Yet many people have accepted that a man can actually be a woman and a woman a man? So what is the problem here?

    • swordfish

      “So what is the problem here?”

      The problem is that you’re making a false equivalence between wanting to fly, which is against basic laws of physics, and wanting to live as a member of a different gender, which isn’t.

  • Craig Clark

    I doubt that the church is ready or willing to deal with this in a godly way. (yes, Dr Brown is the rare exception.) How many Christians have read the verses that deal with cross dressing? How many Christians have questioned how to apply those verses, to determine what exactly the author was talking about? Transvestites are gay men who sometimes cross dress as a fetish. Transgendered are mentally ill who think their brain doesn’t match their biological sex. Did the author of the Scripture passages intend to include the mentally ill along with the sexual perverts? I fear that too many christians rush to a one size fits all answer (in all issues, not just this one) without trying to find out what exactly God commands.

    • GPS Daddy

      Does sin and character issues lead to mental health issues? I’d say yes they can and do. Trauma can also lead to mental health issues which then can lead to sin. I’d say one can argue that sin is a mental health issue. Good old fashion repentance and seeking God is a good remedy for a lot of mental health issues. Learning mental discipline is a major part of developing healthy thinking.

      So I’d say the lines between sexual sin and mental health issues is not a clearly defined line. I’d even say that the term “mental health” hides good old fashion repentance. For “mental health” is often used in the terms of the person being a victim. If your a victim then repentance is not on the radar.

      One of the big problems we have is that the bible uses a different language on the issues of sin as opposed to our culture today. But along with this are different presuppositions. The mental health industry today does not have the same foundation that the bible has. So its language and conclusions are going to be different.

      • Craig Clark

        1, If we say something is a result of sin, then we have the burden of proof to show what the sin is? It is unethical to condemn things we don’t understand, or feel uncomfortable around.
        2. Gender Diaspora begins in early childhood. What sins did the 2 or 3 year old commit?
        3. Over 80% of children with gender diaspora overcome it by the time they reach puberty. This seems to indicate that this is a physical or mental issue.
        4. Christians including ministers struggle with this.
        5. Dallas Theological Seminary’s table podcast has a great episode on this.
        6. You mentioned that culture has a different attitude toward sin. Yes, and so what? The question still remains is this mental illness. Is mental illness a sin? Always a sin? Can people sometimes be sick mentally, as well as physically without us condemning them as sinners?
        7. If someone said he was Napoleon Bonaparte, how should we respond?

        • GPS Daddy

          So, Chuck, do you understand what I wrote in the last paragraph? Our culture has a different worldview than the bible does. Let me ask you this: Is the bible the Word of God? Is it inspired? If you accept this then your response to me is very problematic. If you reject this then I can understand (though you are wrong) your response to me.

          • Craig Clark

            Remember I’m the one who said that we need to study the scripture passages that deal with this issue. We need to determine what is prohibited, what is not prohibited, and what is the Holy Spirit’s intentions. my questions are the type of questions that we need to answer to do that. – You just dismiss the mental health “industry” because they are not christians and have the wrong attitude on sin. But that begs the question is transgenderism a mental illness, and is mental illness a sin? Also you do need to prove that a conflict between the mental health “industry” and the church exists, not just assume it. (last message)

          • GPS Daddy

            Oh my, Craig, you can’t answer my question? Do you accept the bible and being the inspired Word of God? That is a simple question. ANY bible believing Christian can easily answer that. If this discussion move forward well get to the points you have raised. But we need to establish a foundation first. It does matter.

          • GPS Daddy


            Clearly your intelligent enough to know that “Remember I’m the one who said that we need to study the scripture passages that deal with this issue” does not answer my question. You have assumed something of where I am going in this discussion. Are we going to have the discussion or are you going to pigeon-hole me into some mold of your creation?

        • HazumuOsaragi

          diaspora (plural diasporas)

          The dispersion of the Jews among the Gentiles after the Captivity.

          Any similar dispersion.

          The African diaspora caused a melding of cultures, both African cultures and Western ones, in many places.

          A group so dispersed, especially Jews outside of the land of Israel.

          The regions where such a dispersed group (especially the Jews) resides, taken collectively.

          Jews in the diaspora often have a different perspective of anti-Semitism from Israeli Jews.

          Any dispersion of an originally homogeneous entity, such as a language or culture.

  • To be very blunt, transableism is screwed up. This sounds blunt, but I have a close relative who has a genuine disability, so I can speak from direct personal experience.

  • Jeremy L

    You can’t function (or function as well) as an adult if you identify as a child, an animal, or an amputee. That’s the difference. That’s not hard to understand. With “transracial”, it is not a thing because while there are differences in the brains of different genders, there are not differences in the brains of different races. To suggest otherwise is racist pseudoscience. While a female brain can be misplaced in a male body, a “black brain” cannot be misplaced in a “white brain”. Voila. Your questions have been answered.

  • NellieIrene

    The question was answered with the fourth sentence in Dr Brown’s article. They are all based primarily on mental and/or emotional disorders.

  • Kevin Quillen

    no difference: all mental illness.

  • tovlogos

    Everything temporal has theological underpinnings. This stuff is demonic, period.
    However, I can’t even begin to put Rachel Dolezal in the other categories, by a long shot.
    For one, there’s a huge difference between a cat and a human, to say the least. Yet Dr. Brown
    emphasizes this case as much as the others. For example, a pediphile becoming a nine year old.
    I don’t see what she is doing as tantamount to a biblical abomination — he can’t possibly mean that…

    From my perspective, I see what Rachel doing as identifying culturally as much as racially.
    However, All humans carry the DNA of our first two parents. Then under the parentage of Noah and his wife
    we once again form a distinct lineage with compatible DNA, i.e., human DNA.
    I can’t say the same for a cat and human.
    And when we look at the vast differences among environments, it makes perfect sense that
    there would be dramatic changes in the species — yet the DNA is still “human”, which
    is why people of different racial characteristics can reproduce, no problem. Try that with a cat.

    If one lives in the sun for a few millennia, he better have some form of protection; and if people live
    in cold northern climate, they must develop the ability to convert vitamin D3 from the sun by the cholesterol
    in their skin — and in fact people who are very fair skin perform this conversion more efficiently than very dark skinned people — It makes perfect sense.

    However, if he’s referring to psychological, emotional, cultural differences — ok — but still that doesn’t put Rachel
    on par with these other dreadful categories. Therefore, I’m not sure what point Dr. Brown is trying to make, honestly.

  • Anneke9

    My 23 year old niece suffers from gender dysphoria. This is not an alternative lifestyle or a separate view of reality. It is a mental illness.

    She had her breasts removed, took on a masculine name, and wants to be referred to as “they/them”.

    “If you love your niece/granddaughter then you should be happy to affirm the choices she makes in her life,” we were told. Self-mutilation is now a life choice.

    It was interesting to watch the family dynamic at Christmas. The mother was helicoptering and indulgent. Every time she “slipped up” and called her daughter “you” rather than “them”, she gave the girl a quarter. This is supposed to incentivize the mother to be more thoughtful of the girl’s feelings. My brother–the father–is detached from the whole situation and refuses to discuss it. The two older siblings acknowledge that my niece will never be able to take care of herself, and they will become her caretakers when their mom and dad die.

    With her cropped hair cut and flat chest, she’s looks like a 10 year old. It occurred to me that this is whole point. My niece never has to grow up. She doesn’t have to go to college, get a job and support herself. She gets to be Peter Pan for the rest of her life.

    The girl is mentally ill. I refuse to allow someone who’s mentally ill to manipulate me and dictate how I behave or talk. Consequently, I’ve been asked not to attend any family events when my niece is present. She gets physically ill (stomach aches and headaches) just by being in my presence. I am mean and evil. I am a hater.

    It’s not just one person who suffers. Everyone in the family pays a price. How incredibly sad this all is.

  • arkbane

    First, no one should be mistreated in society merely because of who they are, regardless of the reason for their actions, provided that they aren’t harming themselves or others. But what constitutes “harm” isn’t always that easy to define. The transgender rights movement arose out of the gay rights movement, even though it has no particular relationship to sexual preferences. But because it has something vaguely to do with sex, it was adopted as the “T” in the LGBTQ pantheon of identifiable groups seeking social justice and legal protections for sexuality related issues. As I said above, no one should be mistreated or be discriminated against because of who they are, or want to be.

    However, and despite strident insistence to the contrary, there is at this time no settled scientific basis for transgenderism as a physical reality. The few scientific studies that have been done have shown some differences in the brains of some, but not by any means all, transgender people. The meaning of these differences isn’t clear and it isn’t even known if they are a cause of the feelings or a result of them or even if they are related to transgender feelings at all. Emotional conditions such as clinical depression, for example, are known to alter brain chemistry and physiology.

    It is much more likely that all of these various types of “trans” feelings are mental disorders or brain chemistry malfunctions of one kind or another. That doesn’t mean that the feelings are any less real to the person affected, but it does speak to the actual cause and suggests that altering one’s body probably isn’t the best response. Transgenderism caught the imagination of the gay rights movement and has been carried on its shoulders. This has made it almost impossible to separate rhetoric from reality. The fact is that people are altering their bodies in irreversible ways on the basis of poorly understood, subjective, non-quantifiable “feelings” presenting as anxieties that are virtually indistinguishable from those suffered by anyone who has an obsession that they are unable to satisfy. The medical community is going along with it despite knowing there is no credible basis for it in reality. Strident activists, using newly won legal protections, are preventing informed discussion of the issue. Quite frankly, it’s a mess for all concerned.

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