Why did David Reimer commit suicide?

Why did David Reimer commit suicide?.

Dear Constance:

Okay, so you wanna know what it is like to be transgender?  Well…read the article at the link above.  It is the story of a natal male who was horribly maimed during circumcision and was then subjected to a further mutilation of his body to “change him into a girl”.  The theory was that gender identity was purely a matter of external plumbing, and that if this little person “woke up” and saw their external plumbing was female, and that their clothes were female and their name was female and they were treated as female by everyone else, well they would just “be female”, case closed and everyone lives happily ever after.

Except it was an illusion.  A tragic and horrible illusion.  And it ended in suicide after 38 years of horror and suffering.  The article explains that all very well.

So how does it relate to a transgender person?  It goes to the location and seat of gender identity!  Under the current paradigm of the binary gender orientation, I am defined by my external plumbing.  From birth, I have been named, dressed, treated and socialized in the role consistent with my external genetalia, regardless of how I feel, think, or see the world which is totally the opposite…and this contradiction results in the same sorts of feelings and reactions as this poor soul in the article.  Oh, I processed things a bit different, but as I read of his despair, well it was too close to home.

Imagine for a moment:  if you woke up tomorrow, and all your clothes were the other gender…everyone you knew called you by a name that felt like sand in your own mouth and heart…you were expected to excel in the roles assigned by the opposite gender…you were expected to “know” the things the opposite gender has as inherent to them…

Maybe even at first you would think “cool”, what a chance to see the other side!  (Disregard the fact that you have prior experience already “seeing” your correct and natural side and would carry that experience with you as a help and buffer…we transgender people don’t even have that much).

But eventually, you would tire of this…enough, you would think.  I am going back to my real self, laying all this crap aside.

Oh but wait!  Everyone everywhere and every arm of society is now poised against you like the bramble bushes that were against Prince Charming as he sought to set Sleeping Beauty free!  It is all one giant Mirkwood filled with Shelobs and worse!  You show up to work wearing your right clothes and get mocked, threatened and terminated.

I think you get my point.

Gender is not located in external plumbing, and when your internal sense of gender and your external manifestation of this don’t line up the conflict is cataclysmic!

But the reverse is also true!  When a person’s body is surgically attended to with skill and care, and brought into alignment with the internal sense of gender, why voila!  The conflict dramatically diminishes and even disappears…and normal life happiness results.

We have always been taught not to judge a book by its cover.  We are taught that it is not outward appearance that impresses God, for They regard the heart and assess that.  So why in the world do we insist on imposing gender standards from the outside in, rather than discovering who our family and friends are from the inside out?

Listen:  being transgender is not a mental illness.  It is not a demonic spirit, any more than epilepsy is either of those…or a cleft palate is either of those…or a leaky heart valve is either of those.

Being transgender is a state of being, one that has been a part of the human experience of gender as far back as historical records extend, and it is across all cultures and races…it is something that is a function of the core of some people’s lives…

BUT:  if this condition is left untreated, then that neglect can result in horrible consequences: addictions, depressions, emotional and spiritual despairs, and ultimately the overwhelming desire to not hurt anymore, suicide.

But no…for some reason that completely mystifies me, we think that transgender humans are “adopting a lifestyle” or “adopting a new sexual proclivity” or are “seeking to overthrow marriage” or “rebelling against God”, or “are freaks” or…or…or…

It never ends, those “or”s.

If you are an ally, thank you, and please continue to support with your time, talent and treasure until these lies are shattered and a whole beautiful segment of humanity is liberated.

But if you aren’t…if you are “neutral” or simply new or think it is blechy…well just imagine if you were forced…yeah.  Not good.

I am a letter, and the envelope I am in has changed…a lot.  But I am still the same letter I always was…and if you have courage, maybe I will let you read me!  🙂

Do Justice.  Love Mercy.  Walk Humbly.