Bingo Square: True Story
Around the beginning of the fourth season of Supergirl, Dustin Rowles wrote an article on Pajiba about his neighbor and how their daughter had been cast as the first transgender superhero on the show. I fell behind on Supergirl this season – the overall storyline was interesting but they were spending way too much time on a boring side plot with the Guardian/Jimmy Olsen. I don’t dislike Jimmy Olsen but I think he is one of the characters the show has struggled to make interesting. As a result, I didn’t get the chance to see Nicole move beyond new assistant to superhero though she seemed to have narcolepsy – surely related to her superpowers, somehow. After I had been home for about a week, I went on a bit of book shopping spree, and this is one of the books from my wish list that made the cut. Once the Bingo board was released, it also became the perfect candidate for “True Story.”
The book chronicles the struggles Nicole and her family faced as she transitioned from Wyatt Maines to Nicole Maines. Born in the mid ’90s, Nicole was facing these issues before it had become a much more mainstream topic. In some ways, Nicole was fortunate – most of her classmates, even in rural Maine, were supportive; her mother especially always supported her, and the family was able to find psychiatrists and doctors with experience that could help her. However, her family still faced many problems, discrimination, and eventually had to move and relocate to allow Nicole to live as a girl.
While Nicole’s father, Wayne, is now one of her strongest advocates and supporters, the book chronicles what a long journey it was for Wayne to understand his daughter. He had been so excited about his twin boys and had a hard time letting go of that. It was only in her teens, when Nicole needed defending, that Wayne really shifted his mindset from wondering if it was a phase to realizing this was who she was. Honestly, given the early chapters of the book, I was amazed how Wayne and Kelly’s marriage survived their very different approaches to Nicole as a child, especially since Wayne’s standard coping mechanism involved spending lots of time away from the home.
While the main story is about Nicole and her parents, it also gives voices to her twin brother, Jonas, and how the discrimination his sister faced affected him. Overall, very informative chronicle of a family, and how they became vocal activists and advocates while also exploring the personal challenges they faced.
Bingo Square: True Story