Becoming Nicole

Becoming Nicole

The Transformation of An American Family

Book - 2015
Average Rating:
8
Rate this:
NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER * A NEW YORK TIMES NOTABLE BOOK * NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY PEOPLE AND ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY MEN'S JOURNAL * A STONEWALL HONOR BOOK IN NONFICTION * FINALIST FOR THE LAMBDA LITERARY AWARD FOR TRANSGENDER NONFICTION

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.

Praise for Becoming Nicole

"A profoundly moving true story about one remarkable family's evolution." -- People

"Fascinating and enlightening." --Cheryl Strayed

"Exceptional . . . 'Stories move the walls that need to be moved,' Nicole told her father last year. In telling Nicole's story and those of her brother and parents luminously, and with great compassion and intelligence, that is exactly what Amy Ellis Nutt has done." -- The Washington Post

"If you aren't moved by Becoming Nicole, I'd suggest there's a lump of dark matter where your heart should be." --Jennifer Senior, The New York Times

"Extraordinary . . . a wonderful and inspiring story." --Minneapolis Star Tribune

"A downright necessary book--and a remarkable act of generosity by the Maines family." -- BuzzFeed


From the Hardcover edition.
Publisher: New York : Random House, c2015
ISBN: 9780812995435
9780812995411
0812995414
Branch Call Number: 392.6 Nutt
Characteristics: 279 pages [8 unnumbered pages of plates] : illus. ; 24 cm

Opinion

From the critics


Community Activity

Comment

Add a Comment

f
Forest_fox
Apr 16, 2017

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

r
ryner
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.

d
DorisWaggoner
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.

w
wendyfath
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.

p
pktab
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.

Age

Add Age Suitability

There are no ages for this title yet.

Summary

Add a Summary

There are no summaries for this title yet.

Notices

Add Notices

There are no notices for this title yet.

Quotes

Add a Quote

There are no quotes for this title yet.

Explore Further

Recommendations

Subject Headings

  Loading...

Find it at PLYMC

  Loading...
[]
[]
To Top