Becoming Nicole

by

Amy Ellis Nutt

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Nicole’s identical twin brother. In contrast to his parents Kelly and Wayne, Jonas recognizes early on that Nicole (then Wyatt) is a girl, not a boy. He admits that he sometimes feels that his life revolves around Nicole, such as when the family has to move away from Orono because of the discrimination that Nicole faces in school. But despite this, he is a constant source of support for her. Even though Nicole is the more aggressive twin, Jonas works hard to defend her from Jacob’s abuse, even to the point where he gets into fights with him. Like Nicole, Jonas goes through his own period of anxiety and depression as he tries to understand his own identity. He is introspective and thoughtful, finding solace in music and theater, and plans to study theater and psychology in college. Nutt also makes it a point to illustrate how even though Jonas and Nicole are identical twins and share the same DNA, they don’t necessarily have to have the same gender identity because they have separate amniotic sacs and therefore different environments in the womb, which could affect their intake of hormones and thus their gender identities. This is also why twins do not share the same fingerprints.

Jonas Maines Quotes in Becoming Nicole

The Becoming Nicole quotes below are all either spoken by Jonas Maines or refer to Jonas Maines. For each quote, you can also see the other characters and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Gender Identity, Expression, and Transformation Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the Random House edition of Becoming Nicole published in 2015.
Chapter 1 Quotes

By the time Wayne reached home and embraced Kelly, he was smiling, thinking not about the added expenses but about the double joy: two baseball gloves, two basketballs, two rifles for his two baby boys!

Page Number: 13
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 3 Quotes

Part human, part fish, Ariel, with her shiny green scales, is decidedly a mermaid below the waist. But above it, with her long hair and luscious red lips, she is all girl.

Ariel’s problem, however, is that she lives in one world, under the sea, even as she yearns to be in another, on land. As she gazes at her image in a mirror beneath the waves, she feels comforted by the top half of her reflection. It’s the bottom that doesn’t make sense.

Related Characters: Nicole/Wyatt Maines, Jonas Maines
Related Symbols: The Little Mermaid
Page Number: 22
Explanation and Analysis:

“Daddy, I hate my penis.”

Jolted out of his reverie, Wayne tried to take in the words his precious son had just uttered. Then he reached down, scooped up the young boy, and hugged him fiercely. He kissed away the tears in Wyatt’s eyes. He kissed the tip of his nose, his cheeks, his lips, all the while fighting back his own tears.

Related Characters: Nicole/Wyatt Maines (speaker), Wayne Maines, Jonas Maines
Page Number: 23-24
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 4 Quotes

Kelly was learning to do things pretty much on her own for both boys, but especially Wyatt. He clamored to wear the same colorful clothes as Leah, and rather than wear the flannel shirt his mother bought him to match Jonas’s, he would go bare chested. Kelly felt it was cruel to keep dressing Wyatt in clothes he hated, so she made the decision, without Wayne’s input, to shop every now and then for something less masculine for Wyatt to wear.

Page Number: 25
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 5 Quotes

“Are you going to let him wear that?” Wayne asked.

Kelly didn’t answer. Instead, she raced up to Wyatt, hot tears now streaking his face, took him by the hand, and led him back into his bedroom. It was, she knew right then and there, the worst moment of her life. It wasn’t so much the reaction of the people at the party, who were mostly stunned into silence—that was Wayne’s issue—but rather the hurt her son was experiencing, and for no good reason other than that he wanted to wear his princess dress to the family’s party.

Related Characters: Wayne Maines (speaker), Nicole/Wyatt Maines, Kelly Maines, Jonas Maines
Page Number: 37
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

Researchers in epigenetics seek to explain the no-man’s-land between nature and nurture where environment influences a person’s genetic makeup. This happens when changes in the environment trigger some genes to activate and others to deactivate. Identical twins may have the exact same DNA, but not the exact same molecular switches. Those switches often depend not only on environmental influences outside the womb—what the mother does, how she feels, what she eats, drinks, or smokes—but inside the womb as well.

Page Number: 161
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 27 Quotes

“The only dependable test for gender is the truth of a person’s life, the lives we live each day,” Jennifer Finney Boylan once wrote. “Surely the best judge of a person’s gender is not a degrading, questionable examination. The best judge of a person’s gender is what lies within her, or his, heart. How do we test for the gender of the heart, then?”

Related Characters: Jennifer Finney Boylan (speaker), Nicole/Wyatt Maines, Jonas Maines
Page Number: 166
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 28 Quotes

Kelly and the kids would move to Portland, and Wayne would commute on weekends and holidays to be with them. They’d always thought they were on an upward trajectory in their lives, with success and promotions at work fueling an increasingly better lifestyle, but Jacob and his grandfather Paul Melanson had bizarrely changed all that. Suddenly, Wayne and Kelly were downsizing and their lives were in reverse.

Page Number: 173
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 30 Quotes

The hardest times were keeping her mouth shut when she’d hear someone say “Oh, that’s so gay,” which kids often did. She knew if she tried to object, the other person would only say, “Why do you care? Are you gay?” And then she’d be stuck. She had good reason to challenge others’ prejudices, but she couldn’t because they hit too close to home. So she kept her mouth shut, buttoned down her anger, and sealed off her sense of self-righteousness.

Related Characters: Nicole/Wyatt Maines, Jonas Maines
Page Number: 184
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 31 Quotes

It was impossible for the Maineses not to feel the importance of their case among these hardworking people, and they realized that their lawsuit wasn’t just about Nicole or their family. It wasn’t even just their story anymore. The lawsuit, even though it was just a state case, had meaning and significance for many others. And now Wayne, Kelly, Nicole, and Jonas would carry the hopes of those others with them as they sought affirmation from the courts.

Page Number: 195
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 37 Quotes

Jonas said, “Dad, should 1go get her?” It was always his instinct to shepherd his sister. Wayne and Kelly had asked a lot of their only son, and sometimes they forgot the sacrifices he’d had to make being Nicole’s brother. Wayne hugged him and told him how proud he was of him for looking out for Nicole all these years, for worrying about her, and for stepping up whenever and wherever he was needed.

Related Characters: Jonas Maines (speaker), Nicole/Wyatt Maines, Wayne Maines
Page Number: 219
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Becoming Nicole LitChart as a printable PDF.
Becoming Nicole PDF

Jonas Maines Character Timeline in Becoming Nicole

The timeline below shows where the character Jonas Maines appears in Becoming Nicole. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue: Mirror Image
Gender Identity, Expression, and Transformation Theme Icon
There are dozens of these videos of Wyatt and his identical twin brother, Jonas, who were adopted at birth by Kelly and Wayne Maines. Initially, they are nearly impossible... (full context)
Gender Identity, Expression, and Transformation Theme Icon
Kelly also notices that Wyatt is moodier than Jonas and sometimes lashes out at his brother. She also sometimes catches Wyatt staring at himself... (full context)
Chapter 2: My Boys
Family, Love, and Social Expectations Theme Icon
Wyatt and Jonas Maines are born on October 7, 1997 in upstate New York, two weeks early. Sarah... (full context)
Chapter 3: Finally Ours
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Ten months later, Jonas and Wyatt receive revised birth certificates with their new last name: Maines. The boys are... (full context)
Family, Love, and Social Expectations Theme Icon
Wayne and Kelly, Wyatt, and Jonas live in a farmhouse in Northville, New York, and Kelly and Wayne enjoy the beginnings... (full context)
Family, Love, and Social Expectations Theme Icon
...Kelly go to court to make the adoptions official. A judge verifies that Wyatt and Jonas are, in fact, the babies to be adopted, and signs the adoption order. Once home,... (full context)
Gender Identity, Expression, and Transformation Theme Icon
Wyatt and Jonas have a clear physical bond, always wanting to be near each other. But as they... (full context)
Gender Identity, Expression, and Transformation Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Social Expectations Theme Icon
...scoops up Wyatt and tries to comfort him while also struggling with his own reaction. Jonas comes in as well; seeing Wyatt crying, he starts to sob, too. Wayne tells the... (full context)
Chapter 4: Gender Dysphoria
Discrimination, Advocacy, and Pride Theme Icon
In 2003, after Jonas and Wyatt complete kindergarten, Wayne and Kelly decide to move to Orono, Maine, after Wayne... (full context)
Chapter 5: Down East
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...and six acres of woodland. Wayne cuts down trees to build a log cabin for Jonas and Wyatt. The kids seem to adjust well to the move, and though Kelly feels... (full context)
Gender Identity, Expression, and Transformation Theme Icon
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With Wyatt and Jonas about to begin first grade, the Maineses throw a party to get to know their... (full context)
Knowledge vs. Ignorance Theme Icon
Gender, Sex, and the Scientific Community Theme Icon
...terrible knowing “he’d just broken that little boy’s heart.” He doesn’t understand how Wyatt and Jonas could be identical twins and yet so different. (full context)
Chapter 6: Things to Be Careful Of
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Jonas doesn’t think there’s anything unusual about Wyatt’s behavior, but they occasionally get into fights—usually with... (full context)
Gender Identity, Expression, and Transformation Theme Icon
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Wyatt and Jonas get involved in soccer, but Wyatt rarely moves on the field. When Wayne, who is... (full context)
Chapter 8: A Boy-Girl
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Halfway through Jonas and Wyatt’s first-grade year at Asa C. Adams Elementary School, Kelly learns that she has... (full context)
Gender Identity, Expression, and Transformation Theme Icon
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Wyatt and Jonas love it when Kelly reads to them before bed. Each gravitates towards different characters. For... (full context)
Chapter 9: Wild in the Dark
Gender Identity, Expression, and Transformation Theme Icon
...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... (full context)
Chapter 11: A Son and a Daughter
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Wyatt continues to assert his femininity and plays with Jonas less, worrying that his brother doesn’t accept him. Jonas, however, tells Dr. Holmes that he... (full context)
Discrimination, Advocacy, and Pride Theme Icon
...and Wayne has to pull the two kids away from each other. When Wyatt and Jonas join the Cub Scouts, many boys make fun of Wyatt’s feminine behavior and the parents... (full context)
Gender Identity, Expression, and Transformation Theme Icon
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Wayne takes far more pleasure in doing “boy” things with Jonas, like Little League, but the irony is that Wyatt is more innately talented at sports.... (full context)
Chapter 13: Getting the Anger Out
Gender Identity, Expression, and Transformation Theme Icon
...is often angry and feels misunderstood. He even writes Kelly a letter after fighting with Jonas about how he feels that she constantly treats him like the “bad guy.” He writes,... (full context)
Chapter 16: Nature’s Anomalies
Knowledge vs. Ignorance Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Social Expectations Theme Icon
...would stunt his growth, and so they will have to wait until it looks like Jonas is beginning puberty. Jonas is happy to contribute somehow to Wyatt’s transition. For Wayne, he... (full context)
Chapter 19: A New Adversary
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Jonas adapts easily to Nicole’s new name, but Wayne is nervous about explaining the name change... (full context)
Chapter 21: The Christian Civic League of Maine
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One day at school, Jacob sits next to Jonas during lunch. Jonas resists the bait, but Kelly and Wayne immediately send more emails to... (full context)
Chapter 22: Defending Nicole
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Ever since Nicole publicly transitioned, Wayne explained to Jonas that he needed to protect his sister—a thought that was confusing to Jonas, as Nicole... (full context)
Discrimination, Advocacy, and Pride Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Social Expectations Theme Icon
One day, Jacob joins a game of four square in which Jonas is playing. The two quickly get into a fight, and Jacob calls Nicole a “fag.”... (full context)
Chapter 24: She’s All Girl
Gender Identity, Expression, and Transformation Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Social Expectations Theme Icon
...twins to go shopping, Wayne reaches out to hold their hands to cross the street. Jonas pulls his hand away, but Nicole takes her father’s hand and they swing arms all... (full context)
Chapter 26: The Transgender Brain
Knowledge vs. Ignorance Theme Icon
Nutt then addresses how two identical twins like Nicole and Jonas could share DNA but have a different gender identity. The answer, she posits, can be... (full context)
Chapter 28: Separate and Unequal
Discrimination, Advocacy, and Pride Theme Icon
What is worse, no one knows whether the situation will improve in Portland. Nicole and Jonas will go “stealth,” and only the principal and teachers at King Middle School will be... (full context)
Chapter 29: Going Stealth
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Wayne helps Kelly, Nicole, and Jonas move into their new home in Portland, which is only two blocks from the University... (full context)
Chapter 30: On the Outside Looking In
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Jonas has an equally hard time, withdrawing into his room and into playing music. He is... (full context)
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Jonas becomes depressed and unengaged, admitting to Kelly that he thinks about cutting himself. He starts... (full context)
Discrimination, Advocacy, and Pride Theme Icon
Family, Love, and Social Expectations Theme Icon
...that if it goes downhill, they may all have to move again. Eventually, Nicole and Jonas develop a small group of friends, but they always feel emotionally distant. When conversations veer... (full context)
Chapter 34: We Can’t Lose
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Jonas and Nicole are also soon to begin ninth grade at a new school called Waynflete,... (full context)
Chapter 37: Someone Else’s Brother
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While Nicole gains confidence, Jonas experiences more depression and anxiety. Even though he’s proud of Nicole and always has her... (full context)
Discrimination, Advocacy, and Pride Theme Icon
Sometimes it is exciting to be Nicole’s brother, however, as when Wayne, Nicole, and Jonas join other activists at the White House for LGBT Pride Month in 2012. They listen... (full context)
Family, Love, and Social Expectations Theme Icon
...it is time to leave, Nicole lingers to take photographs with the White House reporters. Jonas immediately asks Wayne if he should go get her—his instinct always to take care of... (full context)
Chapter 38: One Step Back
Discrimination, Advocacy, and Pride Theme Icon
...It is a victory for the school board. The Maineses are crushed, but Nicole and Jonas immediately press to appeal to the state supreme court. (full context)
Chapter 39: Imagine
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After a difficult period of highs and lows, Jonas starts to come out of his shell. During the summer following his freshman year, he... (full context)
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...for a Civil Rights Day program at a middle school in South Portland. He asks Jonas to join him as his “roadie.” At the presentation, some of the students ask Jonas... (full context)
Chapter 40: Our Story
Knowledge vs. Ignorance Theme Icon
Discrimination, Advocacy, and Pride Theme Icon
...it was wrong for someone born a boy to “pretend” he was a girl. But Jonas knows, however, that Nicole had never been a boy. He once told her, “You were... (full context)
Chapter 41: Commencement
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In the spring of 2015, Nicole and Jonas are nearing the end of high school. They’ve both been accepted into colleges, with Jonas... (full context)
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In the first week of June 2015, Nicole and Jonas have their last high school prom. Nicole’s date is a boy she’d met at an... (full context)
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A week later, Waynflete holds commencement. Jonas receives his diploma while giving a bear hug to each school official. Nicole curtsies to... (full context)
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...family and asked if they could record the family interviewing one another. They agreed. When Jonas asks Nicole what her most special memory of being an identical twin is, Nicole says... (full context)
Chapter 42: Transformation
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...announces to the family that “She did great.” Nicole sleeps most of the day, and Jonas posts an update on Facebook thanking all of their friends for their support. Nicole’s friend... (full context)