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Amy Ellis Nutt – Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family

Posted in Book reviews, and Non-fiction

Here’s the full disclosure: I haven’t heard about Maines’ family before. It’s not so surprising in the end, because:

  • I don’t live in the USA
  • I don’t own a TV
  • Most of the times I don’t even read newspapers

My reason to read about their journey to justice and appreciation therefore wasn’t based on some silly mocking article about them, neither any other. Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family was not the first book of its kind I’ve ever read, but still has taught me new things and reading it was mind-blowing from time to time. Coming from a family with very weak relationships, I was moved by Maines’ dedication, love and support they had, and still have, for each other.

Maines had my deepest sympathy from the beginning, when they decided to adopt their twins. Later on, I was amazed how they coped everything together – maybe not all of them at the same place, but together. If someone still needs a proof that adoptive parents can be an excellent example for many other families, please buy this book and give it to them, nicely wrapped as a gift. They’ll try to pick up their jaws from the floor for next hours.

It was very moving to read how many obstacles one family has to overcome to become as happy as they want (and deserve) to be. Nicole, for fearless fighting for who is is and not giving up. Jonas, for being such a enviable and protective brother. Kelly, for her courage, rage, unconditional love for her kids, and strong sense of justice. And finally Wayne, for overcoming his doubts and inner struggles, for advocating and showing pride in his family. They have shown what does it mean to stick together, but haven’t forgotten the others. Maines put themselves out also for the sake of all people strugglig with laws and social constructions, where more than often are transgender rights excluded.

It was amazing to finish the book, and before even knowing here is some appendix full of photos, started to search the web. Their case got huge and it made me wonder why I haven’t read about them before. I’m happy I did, and would be even happier if their story could spread further.

Becoming Nicole: The Transformation of an American Family is not only about gender identities, family situations and society’s predjudices. It is also a testimony of hope and changes coming.



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