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Today I met with my new book club for the first time. We will be meeting one Sunday a month. This month’s book was As Nature Made Him by John Colapinto.
As Nature Made Him
This book is a nonfiction biography about the life of David Reimer. He was raised as a girl after a tragic accident at the beginning of his and his twin brother’s life. He didn’t find out that he was born a boy until he was a teenager. The book goes in depth about the struggles in his and his family’s lives.
This is not a happy story. It has a tragic ending. Well, the book doesn’t have a tragic ending, but because it’s about real people and real events, there were many tragic things that happened after the books was released. This book also gets a bit graphic, since it does explore the sexuality of these twins. However, I found this book really interesting, mostly because I’m fascinated about psychology. I think this would be a good book to include in a Human Sexuality college course.
After our book club discussion, we thought it would be interesting to learn more about the life of Dr. John Money. He takes a large role in this story since he is the doctor assigned to the gender reassignment. However, As Nature Made Him does not talk much about Money’s early years, and it would be interesting to see how his beginning years influenced his decisions in the Reimer case.
Some of my favorite quotes are listed below. Warning: this may contain spoilers.
They did what they did out of kindness and love and desperation. When you’re desperate, you don’t necessarily do all the right things.
I didn’t know much back then, and I thought women were the gentler sex. Mistakenly. I have since learned that women are the hard-core knockabout tough guys.
You can go to a thousand schools, and it’s always the same. Because the standard rule of thumb is: There’s the girls over here, and there’s the boys over there. Separated. Which direction do I go? There’s no belonging. So you’re an outcast. It doesn’t change.
I mean, what do gay people do when they’re in hiding? They pretend they’re straight. You toe the line, like everybody else. Act like everybody else, and you’ll be treated like everybody else.
We have to learn to listen to the children themselves. They’re the ones who are going to tell us what is the right thing to do.
Mom and Dad wanted this to work so I’d be happy. That’s every parent’s dream for their child. But I couldn’t be happy for my parents. I had to be happy for me. You can’t be something that you’re not. You have to be you.
We have already picked out our next two books for the next two months. For September, we will be reading The Perks of Being a Wallflower. For October, we will be reading Before We Were Yours. Keep reading the next couple months to find out more! 🙂
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