Becoming Nicole

Becoming Nicole

The Transformation of An American Family

Book - 2015
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"The inspiring true story of a transgender girl, her identical twin brother, and an ordinary American family's extraordinary journey to understand, nurture, and celebrate the uniqueness in us all, from the Pulitzer Prize-winning science reporter for The Washington Post When Wayne and Kelly Maines adopted identical twin boys, they thought their lives were complete. But it wasn't long before they noticed a marked difference between Jonas and his brother, Wyatt. Jonas preferred sports and trucks and many of the things little boys were "supposed" to like; but Wyatt liked princess dolls and dress-up and playing Little Mermaid. By the time the twins were toddlers, confusion over Wyatt's insistence that he was female began to tear the family apart. In the years that followed, the Maineses came to question their long-held views on gender and identity, to accept and embrace Wyatt's transition to Nicole, and to undergo an emotionally wrenching transformation of their own that would change all their lives forever. Becoming Nicole chronicles a journey that could have destroyed a family but instead brought it closer together. It's the story of a mother whose instincts told her that her child needed love and acceptance, not ostracism and disapproval; of a Republican, Air Force veteran father who overcame his deepest fears to become a vocal advocate for trans rights; of a loving brother who bravely stuck up for his twin sister; and of a town forced to confront its prejudices, a school compelled to rewrite its rules, and a courageous community of transgender activists determined to make their voices heard. Ultimately, Becoming Nicole is the story of an extraordinary girl who fought for the right to be herself. Granted wide-ranging access to personal diaries, home videos, clinical journals, legal documents, medical records, and the Maineses themselves, Amy Ellis Nutt spent almost four years reporting this immersive account of an American family confronting an issue that is at the center of today's cultural debate. Becoming Nicole will resonate with anyone who's ever raised a child, felt at odds with society's conventions and norms, or had to embrace life when it plays out unexpectedly. It's a story of standing up for your beliefs and yourself--and it will inspire all of us to do the same. Advance praise for Becoming Nicole "Becoming Nicole is a miracle. It's the story of a family struggling with--and embracing--a transgender child. But more than that, it's about accepting one another, and ourselves, in all our messy, contradictory glory. The Maines family is as American as they come. In the journey they take toward authenticity and justice, we see a model for the future of our country, a future in which all of us--mothers and fathers, brothers and sisters--somehow find the courage, and the love, to become our best selves."--Jennifer Finney Boylan, co-chair of GLAAD and author of She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders "Gripping. a timely, signification examination."--Kirkus Reviews"--
"The Maines were a middle-class, hard-working, politically conservative New England couple whose lives felt complete when they adopted identical twin sons. As toddlers, Jonas was the son Kelly and Wayne Maines expected, but Wyatt was only interested in girls' clothes and toys. By age five, this conflict was tearing Wyatt--and the family--apart. Today, Wyatt is Nicole. She and Jonas are now graduating from high school. This is the story of a journey that could have destroyed a family, but instead united them. It's the story of a mother whose instincts told her her child needed love and help. It's the story of a Republican, NRA-member father who overcame confusion and fear to become a vocal advocate of trans rights. It's the story of a brother who always loved and accepted his sister. And, especially, it's the story of a young girl who found the courage to be herself. "--
Publisher: New York :, Random House,, [2015]
ISBN: 9780812995411
Characteristics: xix, 279 pages ; 25 cm


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Jul 19, 2018

A very personal story brought to the public stage. Both heartbreaking and hopeful, full of the fears that hold us back and the courage that is needed to help each of us succeed.

Nov 19, 2017

At every turn off the page there was another moment described that reminded me of my own experience. It was heart wrenchingly real.

Apr 16, 2017

I absolutely loved this book, I couldn't put it down! A must read!

Sep 27, 2016

Despite having been born biologically male, Nicole Maines knew without a doubt from an early age that inside she was a girl, not a boy. Initially flummoxed, and then cautiously and, later, wholeheartedly supportive, her parents and twin brother journey with her as she grapples for acceptance in school and in her community, their fight for equality eventually leading to the Maine Supreme Court.

I had a difficult time putting this book down. Nicole's bravery in the face of discrimination at such a tender age, and her family's unwavering support in the face of incredible financial and social pressures, are awe-inspiring.

Aug 17, 2016

Wayne and Kelly's last chance for a child comes from a young relative not ready to rear a child, who offers them hers. The miracle adopted baby are identical twin boys, Wyatt and Jonas. The miracle's a lot more complicated than it first appears, ultimately bonding the family more tightly than Kelly and Wayne could have imagined. Wyatt at first disappoints his dad by not wanting to do all the sporty guy things Wayne longs to share with him, preferring Barbie dolls and pink clothes. Before age 3, "I hate my penis." This isn't a passing thing. He knows he's a girl, sending mother Kelly on a search to learn what transgender means and how she can help. Ironically in 2016 politics, the family's first struggles center around which school bathroom Wyatt, now Nicole, is allowed to use. It takes 5 years, the family having to live apart for 2 years with all of them in the closet, and a lawsuit as the "Doe family," before the state allows her to use the bathroom that fits the gender of her heart. Interspersed with this moving memoir is the science and psychology of what transgender means. Every family with a trans child, and the general public, will benefit from this well written book.

Jul 21, 2016

The fantastic thing about reading memoirs is that they open a door into an experience and invite you in. What a fantastic way to help build understanding and empathy.

Becoming Nicole by. With great sensitivity, Amy Ellis Nutt relates the experiences of the Maines family as they journey through Wyatt’s very early realization that he is transgender -- that from as young as two years old Wyatt felt so much more like a girl than a boy. This is one very compelling story. Highly recommended.

ehbooklover Jun 20, 2016

An emotional, thought-provoking, and enlightening read about a very brave young transgender girl's journey towards acceptance. It is very relevant in light of current issues in today's news and I would highly recommend it to anyone who wants to learn more.

Mar 06, 2016

Interesting, thought-provoking book. I had no idea there was so much involved when a person is transgender. I thought it would be easier when discovered at a young age; that is definitely not the case. There are certain milestones to be met and waiting for the magical age to "become who they want to be!"

bibliotechnocrat Feb 15, 2016

When one of their two-year-old "identical" twin sons declares himself a boy-girl, it becomes clear that the Maines family is in for an interesting ride. The father - an ex-military Republican - finds himself having to rethink everything he knew about gender. The mother just wants her kids to be happy and is willing to move heaven and earth to achieve this. The brother wants a normal life, and Wyatt just wants to be Nicole. This is a moving story of an extraordinary family and it illuminates a subject at the forefront of our cultural conversation.

Cynthia_N Jan 11, 2016

What's neat about this book is the author took the time to research transgender physiology and psychology. I understand so much more now. While the story could have gone in so many directions, I believe it went in the best one. It's the story of a family finding its own way. Oh yeah, one of their identical twin boys is a girl.


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