Sunday, November 15, 2015

Becoming Nicole

Wayne Maines was a man's man who was raised in a rural community with conservative, moral values. His wife, Kelly, came from a similar background. After multiple miscarriages, the opportunity to adopt fell into their laps. And when they found out they were having twins, they couldn't have been happier.

Wayne dreamed of the day when his identical twin sons, Jonas and Wyatt, would be old enough to experience the male bonding that goes along with hunting and fishing. Jonas seemed right on track to help him fulfill this dream. But from the age of 2, Wyatt began to show signs that the dream may never come true. As the years passed, it became apparent that Wyatt was not like most boys. Though Kelly followed Wyatt's lead and supported him every step of the way, Wayne just could not bring himself to terms with the idea that one of his sons may actually be his daughter. Until he realized that he really had no choice.

Through bullying, discrimination, court orders, lawsuits, counseling, medical interventions and family growth, Wyatt became Nicole, the girl she had always been.

In my opinion, the one weakness of the book is the way the author refers to Nicole as being "born a boy." She never was a boy. She was assigned male at birth but was always a girl. Becoming Nicole, by Amy Ellis Nutt, is a look at the transformation of a family, and in a way, a community and even a country. It also is a great source of information regarding the science of being transgender and the way the American culture and other cultures view transgender people.

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