David Reimer was born male but raised as female when his penis was injured during a botched circumcision. Dr. John Money had used David as a guinea pig to try and prove his theory that parental influences and society form sexual identity.
In 1985, David Lee Gavitt was a 26-year-old married father of two. He lived with his wife, Angela, and their two daughters, 3-year-old Katrina and 11-month-old Tracy, in Ionia, Michigan. On 9 March, 1985, David and Angela watched some television before tucking their daughters into bed. Afterwards, they retried to their own bedroom. However, David had earlier lit some candles in the living room and had forgotten to blow them out. It was an accident that he would come to regret for the rest of his life.