Transgenderism has been around for awhile. That’s actually a pretty large understatement considering the phenomenon of gender dysphoria has existed for millennia. It’s always carried a hefty taboo and for good reason. Those who are transgender and those who know them are always hesitant to open up or ask questions, with the latter being afraid to offend and the former afraid of being discriminated against.
In recent years, this taboo has become a little more relaxed and there has been an open conversation about gender identity as a whole. So to get the most controversial topic out of the way, let’s start with the number of genders and the belief that it is a social construct. There are only two genders. This is not a bigoted statement. Gender has been proven to be binary, however in the same way height is binary. While people can be any height, they will always fall into the identity of “short” or “tall”. So to translate this analogy, gender identity can fall anywhere in between male and female, but it cannot escape this boundary.
For the belief that gender is a social construct, I would look no further than David Peter Reimer. Reimer was born a male with male genitalia but was raised a female after a botched circumcision accidentally destroyed his penis. In 1967, a psychologist named John Money began seeing Reimer. Money was a proponent of the theory of Gender Neutrality – the theory that gender is a social construct. He regularly worked with intersex patients to advance his theories on gender identity.
For the majority of his studies, Money found Reimer behaving almost exactly like a female, and believed him to be sure proof of the validity of his theory. However, in 1997 Reimer revealed that he never identified as a girl, although he never knew a time when he was male. He went on to explain that around the age of 13 he developed depression and began having suicidal thoughts because of his visits to Money. His parents revealed his identity to him in 1980 and he transitioned to being a male. In 2004 he committed suicide. Reimer’s case is the only proof anyone will ever need to disprove the theory of gender being a social construct. Reimer himself even condemned the theory and believed it should never be tested on anyone else.