As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised A Girl By John Colapinto

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This book has been sitting on my shelf for a little over a year. I tossed it aside, adding it to my collection of books I will one day get to. “As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised A Girl”, is an autobiographical detail of the life of David Reimer, written by John Colapinto. It is not only an important book to read if you are interested in sexuality and gender, but this book also give you the ability to truly step outside of yourself and into the traumatic life of a young girl who just wanted to be a boy. The horrific account of young Brenda, and the Doctor who falsified much of his research by being blinded by his own ego, is a story that is worth reading a few times. In 1965, a young teenage couple at the time gave birth to two identical twin boys, Bruce and Bryan, in Winnipeg Canada. When both Bruce and Bryan were around the age of 8 months old their local doctor referred the boys to have a circumcision procedure. Typically, circumcisions are performed using a scalpel and a clamp. Bruce had the unfortunate luck of going first, where the new up and coming technology was a device called an Electro Cautery Machine. Bruce was ultimately injured so extremely that the book describes his penis as being burnt so badly that within the next few days, the penis had died and fallen off. Nothing was left. Bruce’s life had been drastically changed forever. Angry, confused, and unsure of how to properly help their son, Bruce’s parents took the advice of Dr. John Money, a renowned sexologist, and raise Bruce as a girl, whom they dubbed, Brenda. This was the case that Scientist, Doctors, Psychologist and Psychiatrist only dreamt of. Two identical boys, matching all the way down to their DNA, one being raised as a normal boy, the other, t... ... middle of paper ... each turn of the page, I wanted to rip Brenda out of pages as well and just set her free. Shelter her from Dr. Money. Shelter her from her teachers and parents who did nothing but watch Brenda battle with Bruce. It is hard to say that I feel sad that David committed suicide. A part of me felt guilty- guilt that I didn’t help David, though that is impossible. I felt happy, knowing that David could finally put his monsters at bay and live freely. The other side of me really wanted to see David succeed and have a wonderful life with his family. The Boy who was raised as a girl, is an amazing gut wrenching reality of what can happen when forcing children or anyone to conform or adopt an identity that is not ‘truly’ theirs. This book is one of those books that should be mandatory reading in schools. It is a book that everyone should be able to say that they read once.

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