WINNIPEG, May 10, 2004 ( – David Reimer committed suicide last week at the age of 38. Reimer’s parents, after a botched circumcision, were convinced by a Johns Hopkins gender studies specialist to raise the boy as a girl. Dr. John Money believed that gender was a learned trait, and wanted to prove his theory with an ideal test subject: David was one of a set of identical twins. He was started on female hormone injections and raised as Brenda.  David’s mother, Janet Reimer, said that he would still be alive had it not been for the gender experiment. She blames the doctor for talking them into the sex-change. She described his life: “They wouldn’t let him use the boys’ washroom or the girls. He had to go in the back alley,” she said.  At the age of 14, he was told of his true gender identity, at which time he rebelled, and lived as a boy. He eventually married and became a stepfather to three children.

David’s story became widely known after the publication of a book about his life by author John Colapinto, who wrote As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who Was Raised as a Girl. Reimer went on the Oprah Winfrey show to talk about the issue, in order to prevent the same thing from happening to anyone else.  David’s mother said he was depressed after losing his job and separating from his wife. He was also still grieving the loss of his brother, Brian, who died two years earlier from a drug overdose related to his schizophrenia treatment.  Read CTV coverage at: