Thursday, February 11, 2016
"Becoming Nicole" by Amy Ellis Nutt
Nicole Maines was born Wyatt Maines, twin brother to Jonas and adopted child of Wayne and Kelly Maines. From a young age she preferred traditionally feminine toys and identified as a female. "Becoming Nicole" follows young Wyatt's transition to Nicole, and how her family struggled to understand and support her. The Maines family is remarkably open about the difficulties they faced, both as individuals understanding Nicole's identity, and as a family combating the misinformation and prejudice from others outside their family.
"Becoming Nicole" weaves scientific studies and historical background into Nicole's story, providing context that places her story among a larger societal struggle to understand transgender people and an ongoing fight for their basic rights. Nicole and her family are admirable, inspiring advocates, and this book is an important read for anyone who wants to understand what it means to be transgender and the challenges faced by this community.
Verdict: Affirmed. Anyone who is interested in transgender rights, or even civil rights broadly, should read this book. Bonus points because the audio narration is superb.
"Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family" written and narrated by Amy Ellis Nutt, published October 20, 2015 by Random House.