Becoming Nicole


Amy Ellis Nutt

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Becoming Nicole: Chapter 9 Summary & Analysis

As Wyatt enters second grade, his mood fluctuates daily. In his notebook, he frequently describes wanting to hit Jonas or throw things. Wyatt’s teacher, Wayne, and Kelly are concerned with this behavior. They also note Wyatt’s anger turning inward: he pulls at his eyelashes and eyebrows, telling Kelly that he can’t make himself stop.
Wyatt’s frustration is evidence of the struggle of being transgender and why it is necessary for him to transition. The conflict between his gender identity and his anatomy makes him feel that others do not understand him, and he consequently lashes out against his own body, as well as Jonas, who shares an identical body and likely reminds Wyatt his own mismatched anatomy and identity.
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Wyatt has his first appointment with child psychologist Virginia Holmes when he is nine years old. Kelly recognizes that his constant restlessness belies a deeper anxiety that he cannot explain. After his first visit, Holmes writes in her journal that Wyatt is very feminine and displays no worries about wanting to be a girl. Wyatt’s main concern is instead his “automatic desire to choke himself.”
Holmes, too, seems to instinctively understand that Wyatt’s anxiety does not stem from his gender identity. It instead stems from the fact that others treat him as a boy and that his anatomy does not match his female identity, and so he is lashing out at his body.
Gender Identity, Expression, and Transformation Theme Icon