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Becoming Nicole: The inspiring story of…

Becoming Nicole: The inspiring story of transgender actor-activist Nicole… (original 2015; edition 2016)

by Amy Ellis Nutt (Author)

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3561751,155 (4.22)15
"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. "--… (more)
Title:Becoming Nicole: The inspiring story of transgender actor-activist Nicole Maines and her extraordinary family
Authors:Amy Ellis Nutt (Author)
Info:Random House Trade Paperbacks (2016), Edition: Reprint, 320 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family by Amy Ellis Nutt (2015)

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    This is How It Always Is by Laurie Frankel (Micheller7)
  2. 00
    I Promised Not to Tell: Raising a transgender child by Cheryl B. Evans (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: A deeply person story told from by the mother of a transgender child (FTM). This heartfelt true story follows one child from birth though age 18 and gives the read a real sense of what a family goes through in helping a child transition genders. Everything is discussed including hormone replacement, surgeries, dating, legal issues and so much more. One reviewer had this to say: "I was highly impressed with Evans' story and found myself cheering on her and her husband as they supported their son through each step of his transition journey. Evans writes beautifully, and her accounts of Jordan's and their lives is authentic and moving. I'm hoping that I Promised Not to Tell will be an invaluable guide to those parents who find themselves in the same position that Evans and her husband did. I Promised Not to Tell: Raising a Transgender Child is a bright light showing the way to acceptance through knowledge, understanding and love, and it's most highly recommended." Jack Magnus for Reader's Favorite - Another 5 Star Review… (more)
  3. 00
    Raising My Rainbow: Adventures in Raising a Fabulous, Gender Creative Son by Lori Duron (Micheller7)

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» See also 15 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 17 (next | show all)
A book you cannot, and should not, put down. It's the story of a transgendered girl, and so much more. ( )
  Oregonpoet | Jul 12, 2019 |
Excellent book. Nonfiction is not my favorite, and that's why I have put this one off for so long, but this book was good. Straightforward, well-written story of a family and he way they support each other through a challenging situation. Nicole was born a boy, but knew from age 2 that she was a girl. The writing is journalistic, but still managed to evoke all of the feels. I absolutely loved the daddy-daughter dance! ( )
  sprainedbrain | Dec 1, 2018 |
Becoming Nicole is an excellent book for people who genuinely want to know and understand the transgender experience. However, it's important to remember as you read that this is a story not the story. The transgender community is diverse, and their struggles vary widely. Additionally many in it are not privileged with either a supportive family or the finances to accomplish what Nicole has.

In no way let that diminish your admiration for what the Maines family has done. They used their resources to fight a battle for their daughter which has helped to set precedence for many others. They've also allowed their family to be vulnerably exposed to the world in the hopes that their story might help other transgender persons. I applaud their courage and celebrate their successes.

I received a complimentary copy of this book via a Goodreads giveaway. Many thanks to all involved in providing me with this opportunity. ( )
  Zoes_Human | Jun 24, 2018 |
I've had this book on my To Read list for a while but finally prioritized it for the Litsy A to Z Challenge. I had first seen it when looking for books on the trans experience that talked about more than the act of transitioning from one end of the gender spectrum to a place further into the other end.

The story itself is beautiful. Sure, there are struggles and lots of things that it's terrible they had to deal with just for their daughter to be able to be herself, but there is a lot of hope here. Nicole still has her whole life ahead of her. While the family probably has more troubles like these ahead, they have experience and persistence. Nicole will never have to be on this journey on her own and that's not something that all trans kids get.

I am not trans, so I don't want to get too far into the weeds on the particulars of Nicole's story. As far as the writing goes, though, I greatly appreciated the execution of her story. It doesn't sensationalize any particular aspect and it does a great job of explaining where the parents are coming from and why they dealt with their daughter's gender differently. It also explains quite a bit of the science and biology so that the reader can begin to put understand that aspect which helps inform us of the impact of these things on a trans person such as Nicole. The book never felt like it was judging any particular family member.

For a review that includes commentary on the way the book handles gender issues and transitioning, here are two reviews from trans bloggers:

I borrowed the audiobook from the library, which was read by the author. Personally, I liked her narration as well, though I did find others who found it flat while looking for reviews by trans people. Overall, I think the issue with the book is whether or not it adequately captures a piece (because no single experience of anything could capture all of it, so this is not diferent) of the experience of what it is like to be a trans child or their family member. The book doesn't focus on the other family members, but it gives them enough attention that I feel like it does offer them as role models for dealing with trans children in the family. This shouldn't be an issue, but I think we all know that it is and that family and other children can be cruel, but we don't have to be and this book and the Maineses offer another option as to how to respond. When looking at that core issue, though, I think it speaks volumes for this book that it was recognized by the trans community and is a 2016 Stonewall Honor Book for Non-Fiction.

If you are curious about this issue in general or researching how to interact with or treat a trans family member, this book is a great one to include. As I'm not sure whether or not to refer the book to trans people who it may or may not trigger at times, I will again refer to the two reviews above and defer to their judgement. I apologize for not having a better answer than that but I would not want to presume anything. ( )
  Calavari | Apr 5, 2018 |
An interesting story. But being somewhat of a memoir addict, the journalistic omniscient narrator style put me off, as did the dry chapters on background information. As another reviewer said, I wish the story could have been told by a member of the family, perhaps in collaboration with Nutt. ( )
  bobbieharv | Apr 3, 2018 |
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Amy Ellis Nuttprimary authorall editionscalculated
Bachman, Barbara M.Designersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bordwin, GabrielleCover designersecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Payne, EricCover artistsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Campbell, KellyCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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What we have not had to decipher, to elucidate by our own efforts, what was clear before we looked at it, is not ours. From ourselves comes only that which we drag forth from obscurity which lies within us, that which to others is unknown.  --Marcel Proust, Time Regained
The stream of continuing creation flowed through his blood, and he could go on and on changing forever and ever. He became deer, he became fish, he became human and Serpent, cloud and bird. In each new shape he was whole, was a pair, held moon and sun, man and wife inside him. He flowed as a twin river through the lands, shone as a double star in the firmament. --Hermann Hesse, "Pictor's Metamorphoses"
Omnia mutantur ("All things are changed") --Metamorphoses
For Kelly, Wayne, Jonas, and Nicole
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