Thursday, June 16, 2016

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

Becoming Nicole is the non-fiction story of Nicole Maines and her family.  Nicole is born an identical twin and outwardly a boy.  She knows, though, that she is a girl.  This isn't a problem for her twin brother, who never mourns the loss of a brother because she is just always his sister.  It's only a problem for her mom in that she becomes Nicole's strongest advocate.  The family member who goes through the biggest change mentally is her father who goes from disassociation and difficulty coping to super supportive.

Outside their family, things move from fairly easy and accepting to many difficulties at school to more acceptance in high school.  The story follows the four of the Maineses as they grow and change, through struggles with bullying, bathrooms, living out and closeted years, as well as through evolving legislation and health struggles. 

I liked this book and I feel like it's a good introduction for anyone wanting to understand more about transgender persons and, particularly, transgender youth.  There is a combination of this family's story, legal issues and the science of gender that works well.  I listened to the audio book of Becoming Nicole, which is read by the author, and I would recommend that, as well.

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