Nicole gives her first scripted public remarks at the 2011 GLAD Spirit of Justice Award Dinner, introducing her father. Wayne and Nicole are recognized that evening for their activism. Nicole enjoys the attention and being out as trans.
Nicole’s activism and advocacy for her community (in conjunction with Wayne’s efforts) are deemed so vital that she is recognized by the organization that is advocating for her.
Nicole still has insecurities, however. One day, she volunteers at a training program for the sheriff’s office on how to respond to an active shooter. She plays the part of a teenager killed in the shooting and meets another boy who is volunteering. While pretending to be dead, they whisper to each other through the exercise, and he gives her a quick kiss. Nicole is embarrassed and delighted but knows that the boy doesn’t know she is transgender.
Nicole’s insecurities about her gender identity with regards to romance stem from her knowledge that she is still different from other girls. She recognizes that her body, even though she is transitioning, still doesn’t feel like it fully belongs to her since she still has male anatomy.
That evening, Nicole tells Kelly about what happened. Nicole starts to cry, wondering what she’ll do. Kelly tells her she probably won’t marry the boy, but that she should be excited about her first kiss. As a child, Nicole had wanted to be seen as a girl more than anything, but now she wonders if a boy could still want her knowing she was transgender.
Nicole confesses to her mother that she knows she doesn’t fit society’s mold of what a “normal” girl is, and that this boy has different expectations of her gender identity. But Kelly’s support for Nicole reminds her that she is loved by her family and that she can be loved by others too.