David was featured on Australian 60 Minutes many years ago, before he tragically took his own life. This is one the initial things that got me thinking about my own circumcision, and how damaging it is.
Eight years ago today, on May 5, 2004, David Reimer took his own life. Born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, a twin son of working class Canadian parents, David became famous as the subject of John Colapinto’s book, As Nature Made Him—the story of a boy forced to live as a girl until, upon finding out the truth about his history, he heroically emerged as… well, as himself.
John Colapinto’s book about David is a must-read for anybody interested in gender, identity, the runaway abuses of the medical and research establishment, and the boundlessness of the human spirit. The event that shaped the Reimer family’s life was a botched circumcision that caused David to lose his penis. But this story is not exactly about circumcision. Rather, it is about the abuse of power, about malevolence masquerading as rationality, and about the failed theory that “nurture” (whether through the shaping of children’s…
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