tv Interview with Amy Ellis Nutt CSPAN October 15, 2016 11:45pm-12:01am EDT
[inaudible] >> when i tune into it on the weekend. watching the non- fiction authors is the best television. >> they can have a longer conversation and delve into their subject. book tv weekends we bring you author after author. and it's the work of fascinating people. i am a c-span fan.k, >> amy as our guest and here is a cover of her book. becoming nicole. who is to call?
>> nicole manes was born in identical twin boy in 1987 born and given the name wyatt this is a child from the age of two to two and half identified as a girl and when i say that didn't say to her parents i think i'm a girl said, when do i get to be a girl? when do i get to look like a girl. believed she was a girl. and to middle class ordinary parents need to figure outt what that was about. see macau how did they figure it out? >> they did. the hero is the mother kelly. the twins were adopted at birth kelly and knew there were two things that were most important to her as a mother. make sure that her children w were safe, and happy.
and she knew she could control the safe part she have to understand the happy part is she knew this child was unhappy when she didn't get to play with the toys that she wanted or a father who was conservative, republican, veteran was unsure about who this child was in resisted itbue but kelly was determined and so she did very early and she googled the words boys who like girls toys. that became the beginning of her how to seek to understand that she never heard the word transgender. she became a student of it. to try to bring her husband into it.he it took for longer to do that. he is probably the wonder who undergoes the most transformation in the book. he goes out and gets talks to people about transgender children and especially
helping to try to work with others to understand other children. >> what about the other twin boy. they are both now entering their sophomore game of college. what was wonderful about jonas is that he knew before anybody kids would come up to him andds say to him once he liked to have a transgender sister.w. he didn't know. hit a twin that was a girl and not a boy. they basically said to their father. face it, you have a son and au daughter.ake-up it was kind of a wake-up call to realize out of the mouths of babes here is my child telling me that his brother is really his sister.
so jonas have a go on a journey also to helping other people understand and be protective of his sister when she was discriminated against in the six grade and then stalled by staff at the middle school she would have to use the teachers restroom. she have changed her nameor dressing as a girl. she was nicole. it was tough on jonas. he have to be big brother. they said very profoundly, i have a six grade vocabulary so it's hard to talk to people to try to make them understand. he struggled with it as well.e o they're they are each one another's best friends.
what was it that turned her that way. it was a close, or names? >> the first evidence was the close. nicole, born wyatt loved she would pull her shirt over her head to make it look like it was a long hair. she wanted to wear her mother's jewelry. she wanted to pretend that things were dresses. these are the first signs and a lot of kids go through these phases but this was consistent in constant. and then there were things she actually would say when does my fall off. this was a child who was not saying i feel like i'm a girl it was a child who knew she was a girl. she can understand it being a child and wife why people were
treating her like a boy. >> when did surgery happen? schematic that happened last a summer after she graduated high school she is one of the first case of an american child it is established in 2007. one of the first to have a puberty suppressed so that she h had time to go through all of the side lack -- psychological test to dress, and act and be a girl in order to know for certain that this is who she was. then when puberty was going to start for her they could see in her twin brother. that was when they started herhy on estrogen. she was a can have the surgery until high school. as she wanted to do it before college.be a very important step some new people go through puberty them
at the decision until there are adults. especially difficult for female transgender people because they've gone through mail puberty and surgically a lot has to be done she didn't have to face that problem. she went through female puberty at the right time. she is the right development in the right time. and she is a beautiful young woman. she is happy has a boyfriend and is about as normal a kid as you could come across. it's the beauty of this family because they are ordinary and some new ways and that they are extraordinary and how they dealt with the situation. but their ordinary and begin an everyman family.
it would be hard not to identify with this family.t meah for the degree that they canan normalize for people and what it means to be transgender what it means to have a transgender member in the family. it educates people just by their presence.iter a >> how did you find the story?tory act >> it actually found me. it was published in the newspaper in the boston globe in december 2011 the executive editor was in the executive editor of the boston globe. i read it. i was fascinated by it. i was contacted and i did not know that they were being represented at the time by someone i have don't 30 yearshe earlier in boston she would shout to me because of the family was getting a lot of
publicity requests. to grow up and have a normal teenager. they knew they begin the line after they graduated high school. they would want the story to be told.at we kn the story came to me. i remember saying to my agent, this is fascinating. the fact that their identical twins is an important aspect to try to explain that the science and what we know aboutut the brain . that was five years ago. in the the world has changeded dramatically since then. honestly it's a serendipitous publication of this. it is grossly inadequate. the ones that you read most
frequently are between 708,000. they are based on 10-year-old surveys of three seats. it's impossible to know. it really is. i'm waiting for the next stage where we can get a better estimate of that but of course we face the same problems with people not identifying. i think we really don't know. but what i learned from doing this book was i always thought the phrase gender spectrum was very nice. but it really is true. this is a exceedingly rare 1 that one in 200 kids are born with atypical genitalia. of chromosome dna.
to foster one or not. there is no average male or female we really are spectrum in many ways. as you're beginning to learn the science of this year ann enemy is set at six weeks.sciens we believe a scientist the scientists that your gender identity process in the brain design current six months.id you think of all of the things that can happen between six weeks and six months that affected the brain and this is why identical twins can have the exact same dna but they get different chemical messages.and and the degree of variation. they affected the distribution of hormones. are
it is nearly infinite.>> host: s >> so what can of testing and did a wyatt means have to gor through in order to becomeme nicole means before he even have surgery happen or anything like that. >> it was before genetic testing she went through butly they would at the bank -- office. to understand her anatomy. this is one thing why they delay. they are it as long as possible. to be fully confident that that is who they are. there are a lot of kids who test boundaries and boys that like to dress up as girls
these are temporary. these are things that are experimenting. a child who says at the age of two window get to be a girl and says it constantly and consistently that's that the transgender child. she is also the co- author of the survival guide for the teenage brain. they won the pulitzer prize. it was for a series called the wreck of the lady mary. it was based on the sinking of a scallop boat. in 2009. six of the seven crew died. the accident happened so quickly thank you to know what happen.
so the story was a narrative about what happened to these men and their families but also an investigation.so an they make the case they were the victims of a high state run. it didn't stop. it is a mystery and it's an investigation at story about people. they also spent nine years as a fact checker. a little bit of her career but coming nicole.ca it's a book we've been we been talking with her about. here it is. >> here is a look at the five finalists for the national book award.