some things can’t be fixed

I came across a story recently that is hard for me to shake. My goal is not to make some kind of a spiritual statement. I simply think it is beneficial to sometimes wrestle with uncomfortable issues and unusual social phenomenon. And some things are better left to God.

Bruce Reimer (pictured) was born in Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada on August 22, 1963. He was a healthy male with no remarkable features except that he was an identical twin. His brother Brian was also a normal, healthy baby boy.

When the boys were 7 months old, their parents decided to have them circumcised. In an unthinkable medical disaster, Bruce’s penis was mutilated by the slip of a heated needle.  The damage was irreversible and his parents were told that he would never have sexual relations as an adult. In agony, his parents decided that the best course of action was that the boy should undergo a sex-change operation. Fifteen months, later, doctors castrated him and fashioned a vagina from the skin.  His parents changed his name to Brenda and began to treat Bruce as if he were a girl. Doctors injected Brenda with female hormones.

While Brenda wore girl’s clothes and played with dolls, her brother Brian was a typical little boy. They seemed to have adjusted well to the challenges and were developing normally as brother and sister. It as not until the children reached upper grades in elementary school that trouble began. At that point, Brenda began to insist on playing sports with boys, playing with guns and acting like her brother. Other children in school called her “cavewoman” because she walked and talked like a boy. She insisted on urinating while standing. She got into fights. The experiment began to unravel.

At age 14, Brenda suffered from depression and anxiety and began to contemplate suicide. Her parents felt obligated to inform her of the medical mistake and their resulting decision to perform the operation. This seemed to bring some relief to Brenda. At last, life began to make sense. Brenda made the decision to take testosterone shots and later, had surgery where doctors partially reconstructed a penis. Brenda changed her name to David.  At age 25, he married a woman and adopted her children. In 2004, David’s depression got the best of him and he committed suicide. A strange and tragic life came to end.

Again, there isn’t much of a spiritual point here. It just seems that there are some mistakes that people simply cannot repair.  Think on that for a while.

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4 responses to “some things can’t be fixed

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