Becoming Nicole


Amy Ellis Nutt

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Becoming Nicole: Chapter 10 Summary & Analysis

Dr. Holmes counsels Kelly to go slow with Wyatt and not necessarily give in to everything he wants. Holmes thinks that Wyatt could be gay, not necessarily transgender. Still, Kelly lets him wear feminine clothes at home.
Dr. Holmes’s advice strains Kelly’s own desire to do whatever she can to make her son comfortable in his own skin, particularly because she has so little support from Wayne.
Family, Love, and Social Expectations Theme Icon
Wyatt also becomes obsessed with a series of animated characters called the Trix: witches with magical powers who are confident and aggressive. Wyatt starts to emulate this behavior. He increasingly pushes limits, asking Wayne to have bold and glittery dresses while in a department store. Wayne tries not to overreact. He is adamant that Wyatt cannot wear a dress to school—that he would forever be known for that if he did so. Kelly, however, insists that this is what Wyatt wants.
Wayne’s concern stems not only from his own reservations at having a transgender son, but also recognizing the kind of discrimination that Wyatt could face in school and throughout his whole life. By contrast, wearing a dress to school (which he desperately wants to do) shows how proud Wyatt is of his own identity.
Discrimination, Advocacy, and Pride Theme Icon
In fourth grade, Wyatt grows even more anxious, which seems to stem from wanting to fit in with the girls. Kelly allows him to wear a two-piece bathing suit and sneaks him into the girls’ dressing room—something she has not told Wayne about. Dr. Holmes questions whether this is sensible, causing Kelly to be insecure about her decisions for Wyatt.
Even Dr. Holmes’s questioning of Kelly’s choice in this matter foreshadows the larger battle of Wyatt’s ability (or inability) to use gendered public places like changing rooms and restrooms. This is one of the most significant battlegrounds for both Wyatt and transgender people as a whole.
Discrimination, Advocacy, and Pride Theme Icon
Wyatt has his own insecurities: he tells Dr. Holmes that one girl called him a “fruit basket,” which he did not understand. Dr. Holmes tells him about gay men, which she explains are men who love other men instead of women. Wyatt is adamant that he is not gay. He is not a boy attracted to other boys. He is a girl who wants “to be pretty and feel loved and one day marry a boy—just like other girls [do].”
This exchange highlights why knowledge is so important for Wyatt himself. In understanding what being gay means, he is able to recognize that this is not how he identifies. This conclusion pushes both Dr. Holmes and Kelly to feel more strongly that Wyatt is transgender.
Gender Identity, Expression, and Transformation Theme Icon
Knowledge vs. Ignorance Theme Icon
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