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.
©2015 Amy Ellis Nutt (P)2015 Random House Audio
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, cochair of GLAAD and author of She's Not There: A Life in Two Genders)
I will probably finish listening as the story is compelling but I feel the author is one of the poorest narrators I've heard. Sadly, her staccato , flat intonation interferes with the whole experience. the wish I'd purchased a printed version instead.
Well written, informative and heart-felt story. I wish they had hired a great narrator. The staccato, mono-tone reading was almost painful and I would have to stop listening at times. I struggled to finish the book and wished I had purchased the actual book so as to be spared the tortuous narration. A really good narrator would have made this book something one could not put down.
This book was a very good primer on what being Transgendered must be about. Nicole is such a brave person to have gone through all of this, and kept her sanity! Those people must lead a very turbulent life, not knowing what their Gender should be. It makes the rest of us feel very lucky to have not had to have gone that kind of questioning in our early life. It is difficult enough making it through our early years!
I think that this must be a must read for any of us parents who have a questioning child, to know how to handle such a situation, in a loving way. Wayne and Kelly Maines were very supportive, after Wayne understood that he actually did have a Son and a Daughter.
This was presented in a good way, and let the reader come along, and understand as the story built itself.
Well written combining the clinical information with a personal story. A paradigm shift in perception of what constitutes being male or female.
Anybody who has a transgender person in their family or their group of friends or school should read this book. It will give you a lot to think about. I do wish the author had chosen a professional narrator. It was a bit hard to listen to her try to narrate it.
One apprehensive mother starts her search on the internet, key words: little boy dresses up in girl clothes. What a roller coaster ride after that. This is Nicole's story, and her parents, less of what the impact was on her twin Jonas. Mesmerizing are the first few paragraphs of the book: little boy dances and watches himself dressed in fairy sparklies, reflected in the oven door. While his perplexed and frightened Dad pleads with him to "make a muscle". I am going to listen again, so much is troubling...one mother chastising the family for "giving up too soon", after the boy toddler is playing with girl toys, even poignantly wondering when his own "p*nis was going to fall off". Very well written and narrated by the author. I don't know that a man could have narrated this successfully. I hope we get additional, thorough narratives of what the people go through, those captured in a body that does not reflect what's going on inside. Thanks to the author, thanks to the family for opening the door to their lives.
I was surprised at the emotional response I had to this story. While there were no surprises and I had heard much before about transgender issues, the heart break I felt was unexpected.
Personal story about a family with identical twin boys , one of whom identifies as a girl. Heartbreaking journey of school bullying, isolation, non-acceptance but amazing perserverance of the family to protect the kids and honor their daughter's identity. Excellent, accessible scientific explanations about the spectrum of human sexual differentiation. As we enter the 21st century and old views about gender are being disrupted and disproven, there is hope that acceptance of different gender identities will prevail. Bravo to the family and to the author for letting us into your lives for better understanding of this phenomenon. Shame on those who punish kids for their genetic dispositions over which they have no choice. Shame on U.S. Supreme Court that recently denied transgender child from Virginia the right to use school restroom of gender identity. Shame on North Carolina legislators for their embrace of intolerance and discrimination against transgendered children. Read this book.
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