I don't know much about this community, and I don't want to pretend to speak for them. Let them speak for themselves.
them speaking for themselves
- general press coverage
- press coverage of Dr. Robert Smith
similarities to trans folks
I was surprised at how similar some of their issues are to ours:
- the idea tends to squick other people, so press coverage and medical literature about them is often unsympathetic
- issues about coming out — when people start to use wheelchairs/crutches/etc in public for the first time, it can be a pivotal and very nervous event for the person
- struggles to get the medical establishment to help, along with issues of self-determination and informed consent
- two people who wish they could swap body parts
- trans men and trans women are in a peculiar situation — one desperately wants what the other desperately wants to get rid of. If it were scientifically possible for them to swap bodies, they would do it in an instant.
- transabled and unintentionally impaired people are in a similar situation — one desperately wants the impairment that the other desperately would like to get rid of
- They are sometimes described as having sexual motivations for their feelings, although it isn't clear if this is really the case. I know that for trans people specifically, this idea can be propogated because cisgender folks wish to "other" trans folks.
(okay, it is true that sexual feelings are sometimes tied in with trans desires, but IMHO it's a diversion — sexual stuff isn't the primary or only reason for it, by far)