Last Updated on September 23, 2022

Resident Ken Weeden will review Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family [Seattle: Lake Union Publishing, 2017] by Amy Ellis Nutt on Tuesday, October 18, 2022 at 7 PM in the Auditorium.

Becoming Nicole is a family biography of a twin boy who knew quite early that he was really a girl. By pre-school, Wyatt wanted to dress like other girls and play with girls. The author takes us through the turmoil of how Wyatt became Nicole. We meet her mother, Kelly, who was there for her from the beginning; Wayne, her father who wasn’t until he was, in a very big way; and Jonas, her twin brother who protected her at school, but who also felt occasionally pushed aside as attention increasingly centered on Nicole.

By the fifth grade, she was all girl in her mind, but certainly not in the opinion of some other parents and classmates. She faced bullying, humiliation and of course the bathroom drama. At the same time, she and her family engaged in family therapy, and as she entered puberty, Nicole began hormone treatment that prepared her six years later, on July 28, 2015, for the surgery that completed Nicole’s becoming Nicole Maines. When asked whether the medical, legal and emotional challenges, trauma and tears were worth it, Kelly responded, “Yes, as long as she is happy.”

The author had access to personal diaries, home videos, clinical journals, legal documents and medical records, in addition to extensive contact with the Maines family. She has produced an educational, riveting account of their shared experiences within their community.

Journalist and author Amy Ellis Nutt was awarded the 2011 Pulitzer Prize for Feature Writing. She is based in Washington, D.C.
Charlestown resident Ken Weeden is a retired history teacher, who reads widely. His special interests are history, world travel and social justice.

~Janet Neer, Book Review Coordinator~