Becoming Nicole

by

Amy Ellis Nutt

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Nicole/Wyatt Maines Character Analysis

The protagonist of the book. Nicole is a transgender young woman who was born a biological male named Wyatt. As an infant, Wyatt is adopted by Kelly and Wayne Maines at birth, along with his identical twin brother Jonas. From an early age, Wyatt recognizes that despite his male anatomy, he strongly identifies as a girl. He prefers feminine activities and roles when he and Jonas act out stories, and favors dolls over action figures. Wyatt prefers wearing dresses rather than the flannels that Kelly buys for Wyatt and Jonas. Wyatt is also obsessed with The Little Mermaid from a young age. Over the course of Wyatt’s childhood, despite not having the vocabulary to understand what he is going through, he has a very clear sense of himself and knows that he should not have to change herself to be accepted—rather, it is the people around her who have to adjust their ideas of who she is. Still, Wyatt faces a lot of challenges over her school years: his father struggles to accept his identity, he faces discrimination and bullying when she uses the girls’ restroom in elementary school, and he feels anxious at the prospect of going through puberty as a boy. But Wyatt is gradually able to expresses his feminine identity more openly, taking on female pronouns and changing his name to Nicole. With the support of her family and the help of pediatric specialist Dr. Norman Spack, Nicole is able to take puberty blockers and eventually receive sex reassignment surgery, a transition from a male to a female that is deeply gratifying and affirming to the identity she has longed to express for so many years. Nicole also wins several legal victories in the state of Maine: she wins a case that forces her school (and others) to create a more inclusive bathroom policy, she helps defeat a bill that would allow businesses to choose the restrooms its patrons can use, and she and Wayne help to change the policy at the University of Maine so that sex reassignment surgery is covered by its insurance. In these victories, Nicole not only demonstrates courage, but also the power of someone being out and proud of their identity. Only by living this way is Nicole able to advocate for her rights and the rights of others.

Nicole/Wyatt Maines Quotes in Becoming Nicole

The Becoming Nicole quotes below are all either spoken by Nicole/Wyatt Maines or refer to Nicole/Wyatt 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:

One evening, when the twins were about three years old and had been tucked in for the night, Kelly sat down at the computer in the living room and typed five words into the search engine:

“Boys who like girls’ toys.”

It was both a question and a statement of fact. For Kelly, it was also a beginning. She scrolled through science articles, online forums, and medical sites. She read about homosexuality, transsexualism—wasn’t that what drag queens were?—and something called transgender. She read for hours.

Related Characters: Nicole/Wyatt Maines, Kelly Maines
Page Number: 27
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:

Wayne was also trying to make sense of Wyatt, in his own way, but mostly he was hoping these were all things his son would simply outgrow. He didn’t want to think about his son being gay. It was fine if the sons of other fathers were gay, because he had no problem working with gay people or his children having gay friends. He just didn’t want that for his son. It would be too hard his whole life, and Wayne was afraid he wouldn’t know how to be the kind of father Wyatt would want—or need.

Page Number: 40
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 7 Quotes

You think you are the only person in the world that has this. In fact, we now know that there are tens and tens of thousands of people in this country alone who have this. One scholar says that it’s as common as multiple sclerosis, it’s as common as a cleft palate. It’s something that many people in the country and across the world have, but these people are living in silence and shame because they are afraid to speak the truth.

Related Characters: Jennifer Finney Boylan (speaker), Nicole/Wyatt Maines, Kelly Maines
Page Number: 47
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 13 Quotes

Wyatt was flooded with relief, knowing there was someone out there just like him. Wayne couldn’t believe it. Wyatt, he realized, had all the same anger issues, and he and Kelly all the same anxieties, but Jazz’s parents were openly discussing them on national TV. Wayne fought back tears for the rest of the hour.

Page Number: 81
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 14 Quotes

In other words, our genitals and our gender identity are not the same. Sexual anatomy and gender identity are the products of two different processes, occurring at distinctly different times and along different neural pathways before we are even born. Both are functions of genes as well as hormones, and while sexual anatomy and gender identity usually match, there are dozens of biological events that can affect the outcome of the latter and cause an incongruence between the two.

Related Characters: Nicole/Wyatt Maines
Page Number: 89
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 18 Quotes

For Wayne, this was the first time he’d shown any kind of public support for Wyatt being transgender. His instincts as a father had been tested without his even realizing it, and he’d responded to the challenge. The petition was granted, and in a matter of days Wyatt Benjamin Maines would officially and legally become Nicole Amber Maines.

Page Number: 118
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 23 Quotes

There was Jacob, staring her down. She knew exactly what was about to happen. The moment the door of the girls’ restroom closed behind her, it opened again and there he was. Later, in the principal’s office, Nicole was told she shouldn’t have been using the girls’ bathroom in the first place, which only made her feel like the school was pointing out: Here are all the normal kids, and here are you.

Page Number: 140
Explanation and Analysis:
Chapter 26 Quotes

Their receptor gene for the male sex hormone testosterone was longer than in gender-conforming males and appeared to be less efficient at signaling the uptake of male hormones in utero, resulting in a more “feminized” brain.

Related Characters: Nicole/Wyatt Maines
Page Number: 160
Explanation and Analysis:

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:
Chapter 42 Quotes

He always remembered that there was something to be gained from putting up with everyone else’s nonsense—he was going to have the body that he always felt like he deserved and was meant to have. And that made it all—the harassment and the bad feelings and the discomfort and the awkwardness—worth it.

I feel like I need to have surgery because I promised him.

Related Characters: Nicole/Wyatt Maines (speaker)
Page Number: 254
Explanation and Analysis:

Her good friend Lexie texted, “HOW U FEELIN?” And then, “YOU’RE LIKE ARIEL,” the little mermaid who emerged from the sea in the form she’d always longed for.

Nicole’s transition was now complete. She would still need to take female hormones the rest of her life, and she would never be able to have her own children, but she knew she wanted to marry a man some day and adopt.

Related Characters: Nicole/Wyatt Maines
Related Symbols: The Little Mermaid
Page Number: 259
Explanation and Analysis:
Get the entire Becoming Nicole LitChart as a printable PDF.
Becoming Nicole PDF

Nicole/Wyatt Maines Character Timeline in Becoming Nicole

The timeline below shows where the character Nicole/Wyatt Maines appears in Becoming Nicole. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Prologue: Mirror Image
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The two-year-old Wyatt is mesmerized as he twirls in front of the black oven door with Mardi Gras... (full context)
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There are dozens of these videos of Wyatt and his identical twin brother, Jonas, who were adopted at birth by Kelly and Wayne... (full context)
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Kelly also notices that Wyatt is moodier than Jonas and sometimes lashes out at his brother. She also sometimes catches... (full context)
Chapter 2: My Boys
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Wyatt and Jonas Maines are born on October 7, 1997 in upstate New York, two weeks... (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 happy and... (full context)
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Wayne and Kelly, Wyatt, and Jonas live in a farmhouse in Northville, New York, and Kelly and Wayne enjoy... (full context)
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...Wayne and 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.... (full context)
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Wyatt and Jonas have a clear physical bond, always wanting to be near each other. But... (full context)
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Wyatt is particularly obsessed with The Little Mermaid. Nutt writes, “Part human, part fish, Ariel, with... (full context)
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...before the twins are three, Wayne is renovating one of their bathrooms using a hammer. Wyatt joins him with his own toy hammer. Wayne “glorie[s] in the father-and-son moment.” But when... (full context)
Chapter 4: Gender Dysphoria
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To Kelly, Wyatt isn’t strange or sick; he’s just different. Wayne starts to distance himself from the situation,... (full context)
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...normal family, and so she has no expectations of what that means. Wayne feels that Wyatt is making a “mockery” of his idea of family, and often fights with Wyatt about... (full context)
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...identity that is not clearly male or clearly female.” She thinks this description somewhat matches Wyatt. (full context)
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Kelly recognizes a lot of these traits in Wyatt, who refers to himself as a “boy-girl” and sometimes asks questions like “When will my... (full context)
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In 2003, after Jonas and Wyatt complete kindergarten, Wayne and Kelly decide to move to Orono, Maine, after Wayne gets a... (full context)
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Kelly lets Wyatt grow his hair out and wear feminine shirts. Wayne, meanwhile, feels uncomfortable whenever they are... (full context)
Chapter 5: Down East
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...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 a little... (full context)
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With Wyatt and Jonas about to begin first grade, the Maineses throw a party to get to... (full context)
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...worried that everyone at the party would judge him for his outburst as well as Wyatt’s dress. He is embarrassed by his son but also feels terrible knowing “he’d just broken... (full context)
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...that he refuses to talk about his feelings about their child. Wayne simply hopes that Wyatt will outgrow this phase. He worries that his son is gay, not because he has... (full context)
Chapter 6: Things to Be Careful Of
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Wyatt doesn’t have the vocabulary for his gender identity, so he simply calls himself “a boy... (full context)
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Jonas doesn’t think there’s anything unusual about Wyatt’s behavior, but they occasionally get into fights—usually with Wyatt lashing out at Jonas. Wyatt explains... (full context)
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Wyatt and Jonas get involved in soccer, but Wyatt rarely moves on the field. When Wayne,... (full context)
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Kelly worries about the kids’ safety, particularly Wyatt’s, and so she enrolls the kids in tae kwon do. Kelly also stays updated on... (full context)
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Kelly makes efforts to protect Wyatt in school and at friends’ homes. She explains to his teacher before he starts school... (full context)
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Later in the year, Wyatt illustrates a safety book called “Things to Be Careful Of.” The cover shows a man-eating... (full context)
Chapter 7: The Pink Aisle
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...is in their hearts.” This is affirming to Kelly, who sees the same understanding in Wyatt. (full context)
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...their birth. Kelly buys Boylan’s book, knowing that she could be a role model for Wyatt and that her words might also help Wayne understand Wyatt’s identity better. (full context)
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For Wyatt’s seventh birthday, Kelly buys action figures from a TV show she thinks Wyatt had been... (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 thyroid cancer.... (full context)
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Wyatt and Jonas love it when Kelly reads to them before bed. Each gravitates towards different... (full context)
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Kelly and Wayne try to find a therapist for Wyatt, but it proves difficult to find someone who specializes in gender issues for children. Wyatt,... (full context)
Chapter 9: Wild in the Dark
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As Wyatt enters second grade, his mood fluctuates daily. In his notebook, he frequently describes wanting to... (full context)
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Wyatt has his first appointment with child psychologist Virginia Holmes when he is nine years old.... (full context)
Chapter 10: Girls with Magical Powers
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Dr. Holmes counsels Kelly to go slow with Wyatt and not necessarily give in to everything he wants. Holmes thinks that Wyatt could be... (full context)
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Wyatt also becomes obsessed with a series of animated characters called the Trix: witches with magical... (full context)
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In fourth grade, Wyatt grows even more anxious, which seems to stem from wanting to fit in with the... (full context)
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Wyatt has his own insecurities: he tells Dr. Holmes that one girl called him a “fruit... (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... (full context)
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Some of Wyatt’s most difficult moments involve sports, particularly because they involve changing and showering. Once, an older... (full context)
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...pleasure in doing “boy” things with Jonas, like Little League, but the irony is that Wyatt is more innately talented at sports. Jonas does not have the natural skills for Whiffle... (full context)
Chapter 12: Transitions
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Through third and fourth grade, other kids refer to Wyatt using male pronouns, but in their minds, he is a “boy-girl.” He finds a growing... (full context)
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In the fourth grade, Wyatt draws a self-portrait for the school’s open house depicting a girl with long curly hair,... (full context)
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About a month after moving to Maine, Kelly stopped by Erhardt’s office to explain Wyatt’s situation and to ask Erhardt to keep an eye on him. When Kelly told her... (full context)
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...since their first meeting, and so Erhardt calls her when the issue comes up about Wyatt’s self-portrait. Kelly recommends that the teacher make Wyatt redo the assignment to reflect the person... (full context)
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Seeing Wyatt’s teachers and classmates accept his feminine identity is slowly changing Wayne’s perception of Wyatt. He... (full context)
Chapter 13: Getting the Anger Out
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In April 2007, Wayne and Kelly sit down with Wyatt one night to watch a 20/20 special on transgender children. The special profiles Jazz, a... (full context)
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Watching the special, Wyatt is “flooded with relief,” knowing that there is someone else out there like him. Wayne... (full context)
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Wyatt continues to see Dr. Holmes and confesses that he sometimes feels like sticking his fingers... (full context)
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Wyatt undergoes a psychological evaluation in May 2007. The results are clear, and unsurprising to the... (full context)
Chapter 16: Nature’s Anomalies
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In 2006, Wyatt becomes one of Spack’s first American transgender pediatric patients. Spack puts Wyatt at ease by... (full context)
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Wyatt asks why he can’t start the hormones immediately. Spack tells Wyatt that it would stunt... (full context)
Chapter 17: Being Different
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There is one large difference in the school when Wyatt starts fifth grade: this section of the school has multi-stall bathrooms divided by gender, which... (full context)
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...Wayne and Kelly can be involved in meetings with teachers and school staff to evaluate Wyatt’s needs. The 504 is used to prevent discrimination against any children with disabilities or impairments.... (full context)
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Kelly also petitions the Maine Principals Association, which regulates team sports, so that Wyatt can play on the girls’ softball team rather than the boys’ baseball team.  She educates... (full context)
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Wyatt is excited to play on the girls’ team but is worried about having to wear... (full context)
Chapter 18: Becoming Nicole
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Kelly and Wayne gradually become more lenient with Wyatt’s gender expression, now allowing him wear all the feminine clothes he wanted. They also decide... (full context)
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...and politically active Christian Civic League of Maine. She wants to make sure to protect Wyatt from their harassment. (full context)
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...asks why they’re changing their son’s name to a girls’ name. Their lawyer explains that Wyatt is transgender, and that the Maineses want to keep the change private because of recent... (full context)
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At this statement, Wayne stands and speaks in front of the judge. He explains that Wyatt had been expressing feelings that he was a girl since he was two, and they... (full context)
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...own assumptions based on the judge’s appearance had been wrong. The petition is granted, and Wyatt Benjamin Maines becomes Nicole Amber Maines. (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 to his friends and... (full context)
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Nicole begins the fifth grade in 2007 and immediately her nerves are dissipated. She wears her... (full context)
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...fifth-grade girl calls Lisa Erhardt and says that she had become a little worried about Nicole using the girls’ bathroom when she is still anatomically a boy, since her own daughter... (full context)
Chapter 20: Freak
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A few weeks into the school year, Nicole and her friend are using the girls’ bathroom when Jacob walks in. He calls Nicole... (full context)
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Mrs. Molloy marches Jacob into Erhardt’s office. Erhardt then speaks with Bob Lucy and Nicole and her friends. Nicole’s friends reveal that Jacob had been calling her a faggot behind... (full context)
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...Kelly Clenchy. She and Wayne want Jacob moved into a different fifth-grade classroom and want Nicole, who’s been temporarily barred from the girls’ bathroom, to be able to use it again.... (full context)
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Over the next few days, Jacob continues to watch Nicole and follow her whenever she’s in the hallway. In early October, Jacob follows Nicole again... (full context)
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...down. He insists that Jacob should have the same rights as “that boy,” referring to Nicole. Melanson assures them that he would stop what he was doing if they assured him... (full context)
Chapter 21: The Christian Civic League of Maine
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...the Gay and Lesbian Advocates and Defenders (GLAD) organization. They want everyone to know that Nicole is suffering and depressed because of Jacob’s actions. (full context)
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The staff decide that they will monitor Nicole and Jacob to avoid any “unplanned encounters” between them. Officer Andy Whitehouse will visit the... (full context)
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Nicole’s situation is hardly unique. Several weeks later, Brianna Freeman is having lunch with friends in... (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... (full context)
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...in which Jonas is playing. The two quickly get into a fight, and Jacob calls Nicole a “fag.” Jonas jumps on Jacob’s back, and Jacob swiftly flings Jonas to the ground.... (full context)
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...blogs. Some comment that Wayne and Kelly should be “arrested for child abuse” for helping Nicole “persist in the mental illness.” (full context)
Chapter 23: May I Have This Dance?
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Nicole continues to use the staff bathroom at school, which doesn’t bother her too much. However,... (full context)
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...Rights Commission alleging that the school had violated the Maine Human Rights Act by excluding Nicole from the girls’ bathroom. (full context)
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A few months earlier, Nicole had announced that there would be a father-daughter Valentine’s Day dance, and Wayne agreed to... (full context)
Chapter 24: She’s All Girl
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...conference with the Christian Civic League, arguing along with several students from the school that Nicole should not be allowed to use the bathroom until she has a “sex change.” The... (full context)
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...young people, explaining how they’ve learned about being transgender and that there’s nothing wrong with Nicole using the girls’ bathroom. (full context)
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Reading some of the negative articles emboldens Wayne and shows him how Nicole needs him to fight for her rights. He also starts to realize that he’d “spent... (full context)
Chapter 25: Eyes On
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By the end of fifth grade, a staff person follows Nicole everywhere in an “eyes-on” policy meant to protect her. When sixth grade begins, not much... (full context)
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A few weeks after the start of sixth grade, Nicole takes an all-day workshop with an arts organization, spending the day in the high school.... (full context)
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The school’s policies—particularly the “eyes-on” policy on Nicole—begin to wear on the family. In the spring of sixth grade, the school takes the... (full context)
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Nicole is anxious and angry. She started seeing a new mental health counselor, named Christine Talbott,... (full context)
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One day in April, Nicole admits to Kelly and Wayne that she had been about to go into the girls’... (full context)
Chapter 26: The Transgender Brain
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Nutt then addresses how two identical twins like Nicole and Jonas could share DNA but have a different gender identity. The answer, she posits,... (full context)
Chapter 28: Separate and Unequal
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...the Orono school district. The Commission recommends “conciliation,” which is what Kelly and Wayne want—for Nicole to be integrated into the school in the way other girls were. (full context)
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...He was unable to recover from his burns. The family attends the funeral together, and Nicole thinks of all the good memories she has of her grandfather. But she is saddened... (full context)
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...of sexual orientation. At the heart of the suit is the question of whether forcing Nicole to use a separate staff-only restroom is constitutional. (full context)
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...another face-to-face meeting with principal Bob Lucy. She asks what the arrangements will be for Nicole in seventh grade, knowing that the situation had become incredibly toxic. Lucy tells her that... (full context)
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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... (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... (full context)
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Nicole isn’t feeling much better. A few weeks after the move, she tells Wayne that transgender... (full context)
Chapter 30: On the Outside Looking In
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...their new middle school. It is large and unfriendly, and they feel they don’t belong. Nicole is acutely aware of leading a “double life” due to her inability to reveal that... (full context)
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...cutting himself. He starts seeing a therapist, but also retreats further into his own head. Nicole isolates herself, too, particularly after two incidents in which she is nearly outed. In one... (full context)
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Eighth grade is not much better for the twins. Nicole had been miserable for the last two years at Asa Adams Elementary but was also... (full context)
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...he wasn’t on top of the case and his son had made disparaging comments about Nicole. Kelly is also worn-down with worry. But a bit of good news arrives in March... (full context)
Chapter 31: Puberty Begins
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In early January 2009, Dr. Spack notices signs that Nicole is beginning puberty, and so she immediately starts injections of a puberty-suppressing drug. Meanwhile, Nicole... (full context)
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...neighborhood in Portland. Meanwhile, on the next visit to Dr. Spack in Boston, he tells Nicole that she can start estrogen immediately—sooner than they’d planned. Nicole is thrilled. (full context)
Chapter 32: Born This Way
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Before Nicole starts eighth grade, she attends a week-long sleepaway camp for transgender children named Camp Aranu’tiq... (full context)
Chapter 33: A Time for Change
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...Portland to speak out against the “don’t ask don’t tell policy” in the military, and Nicole and Wayne attend her rally together. Wayne had been proud to serve in the military,... (full context)
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The Maineses had all stayed quiet about Nicole’s identity in Portland through most of eighth grade. But in April, the Maine Legislature considers... (full context)
Chapter 34: We Can’t Lose
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...Maine legislature. He reads a statement, explaining that he has a transgender daughter and how Nicole’s experiences have transformed how he thinks about these issues. He explains that this bill would... (full context)
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...He takes the responses as opportunities for further discussion and education. Someone suggests that perhaps Nicole is transgender because they’d given her dolls at a young age, but Wayne and Kelly... (full context)
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Nicole and Wayne do more campaigning against the bill. For two days, they walk around the... (full context)
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Jonas and Nicole are also soon to begin ninth grade at a new school called Waynflete, a private... (full context)
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The whole family decides that they have had to stay quiet for too long about Nicole’s identity, and so she decides to be “out” at school. She bonds with another girl... (full context)
Chapter 35: First Kiss
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Nicole gives her first scripted public remarks at the 2011 GLAD Spirit of Justice Award Dinner,... (full context)
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Nicole still has insecurities, however. One day, she volunteers at a training program for the sheriff’s... (full context)
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That evening, Nicole tells Kelly about what happened. Nicole starts to cry, wondering what she’ll do. Kelly tells... (full context)
Chapter 36: Small Victories
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Two weeks after Nicole lobbies against LD 1046, the bill is defeated in the state senate and house, and... (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... (full context)
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Sometimes it is exciting to be Nicole’s brother, however, as when Wayne, Nicole, and Jonas join other activists at the White House... (full context)
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When it is time to leave, Nicole lingers to take photographs with the White House reporters. Jonas immediately asks Wayne if he... (full context)
Chapter 38: One Step Back
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In September 2012, the proceedings begin for the Maineses’ lawsuit. Nicole is only identified as “Susan Doe” and never appears as a witness or at the... (full context)
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...is not unsympathetic to [the girl’s] plight,” but finds that the school did not harass Nicole, nor was it deliberately indifferent to the harassment she experienced from Jacob. It is a... (full context)
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In April 2012, Wayne and Nicole visit a satellite campus of the University of Maine for their annual Rainbow Ball. Wayne... (full context)
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In August 2013, Wayne finds something that Nicole had written on her Facebook page. She had watched an episode of Family Guy in... (full context)
Chapter 39: Imagine
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...in Maine’s Supreme Judicial Court. They want to make sure that the judges understand that Nicole had been forced to use a separate restroom from other girls, even when staff had... (full context)
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...for “camaraderie among those who share the whole life experience of manhood or womanhood.” To Nicole, these arguments make no sense. The Maineses argue that the female experience is exactly what... (full context)
Chapter 40: Our Story
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...says that the Orono school district would “take every step to comply with the law.” Nicole is so thrilled that when Kelly texts her, she immediately stops the school assembly that... (full context)
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...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 always a sister to... (full context)
Chapter 41: Commencement
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The University of Maine, however, writes to Nicole telling her that her sex reassignment surgery is not covered by the university’s insurance (managed... (full context)
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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,... (full context)
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Nicole and Wayne travel to New York City together to shoot the episode. The limo driver... (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... (full context)
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...holds commencement. Jonas receives his diploma while giving a bear hug to each school official. Nicole curtsies to each person and strikes a pose after accepting her degree. Kelly and Wayne... (full context)
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...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 she remembers... (full context)
Chapter 42: Transformation
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Nicole knows that she is not defined by her anatomy, and that too often people focus... (full context)
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Nicole writes down some of her thoughts about the upcoming surgery, acknowledging that it isn’t going... (full context)
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On July 28, 2015, the family arrives at Dr. Rumer’s hospital outside Philadelphia. Nicole is dizzy, having not eaten solid food for 48 hours and having had an enema... (full context)
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Nicole is wheeled into the operating room at 7:35 a.m. At 11:06 a.m. Dr. Rumer announces... (full context)
Epilogue
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...to be transgender, and how there had been a girl in school who was transgender: Nicole. The girl remembers Nicole but says she didn’t know she was transgender. The boy says,... (full context)